Brandon Soderberg’s piece in this issue, titled “Baltimore’s Crime Numbers Game,” is not an easy read. Through funding provided by the Data-Driven Reporting Project, Soderberg and The Real News Network looked at over three decades of police and crime data, and what he found was disturbing.

“The Baltimore Police Department provided The Real News with data that is frequently inconsistent and sometimes incomplete. The data we did receive is often contradicted by other statements by police, and even their own reports,” Soderberg writes. 

If it seems as though this newspaper delves into the subject of policing in Baltimore often, it’s because we do. This country has not yet fulfilled the promise of full and equal civil rights for all of its citizens, and Baltimore, even with its majority-Black leadership, is no exception. The work of Soderberg and the team of data analysts and researchers highlights the ways that police continue to harm this city’s Black residents.

We pay a great cost financially for this system that doesn’t work. As Soderberg’s piece notes, Baltimore spends more per person on policing than any other major city in the country. But we pay in other ways: there are fewer opportunities for people here to enjoy fulfilling public life, more of our loved ones are harmed by a violent carceral system, and crime persists. 

It’s a heavy read but an important one.

Also in this issue, Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson highlights three local musicians — SDOT, Cadeem LaMarr, and BethBanger — about their “love for creating music, their origin stories, and their hopes for the future.”

Members of the group VOices Towards an Elected School Board make their case for school board reform measures. Baltimore Courtwatch marks the upcoming Fourth of July holiday by noting that freedom still exists for some of us but not all of us. Film critic Dominic Griffin tackles Harrison Ford’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Iya Osundara has your July tarotscope. And, as always, we have a poem from a participant in the group Writers in Baltimore Schools. 

Lisa Snowden is Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of Baltimore Beat. Previously, she was an editor at Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and The Real News Network. Her work has also appeared in Essence,...