Baltimore’s mayor is under fire for appearing to abdicate responsibility for the murders taking place on his watch.
Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young was taken to task this week after Baltimore closed in on the 300-murder mark for the year, a dubious distinction it has achieved for the past five years.
John Hoey, president and CEO of the Y in central Maryland, wrote in an Op-Ed on Monday for The Baltimore Sun that the city was suffering a “crisis of leadership.”
Hoey was moved to write after the death of Jordan Taylor, who worked with youth for the Y.
“So many of the people we serve are doing their absolute best to live productive lives in neighborhoods that are incredibly violent and dangerous,” Hoey wrote.
“They are being traumatized daily and are largely and disproportionately the victims of the violence. They are the ones who most deserve answers and far more serious action than we have yet seen by our local elected officials.”
Young, a Democrat, replied to the criticism during a media event on Wednesday, according to WJZ.
“It’s not any lack of leadership on my part. I’ve been moving this city forward,” he said.
“I’m not committing the murders,” he added.
“And that’s what people need to understand. I’m not committing the murders. The police commissioner is not committing it. The council is not committing it. So how can you fault leadership? You know this has been five years of 300-plus murders, and I don’t see it as a lack of leadership.”
Mayor Jack Young on Baltimore homicides: “I’m not committing the murders. The police commissioner has not committed it. The council’s not committing it. So how can you fault leadership?” https://t.co/Yg9MMRnUTE pic.twitter.com/5XExpSMGA2
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) November 13, 2019
“We’re going to get the bad guys,” Young said, The Sun reported. “We’re going to get them.”
Many on Twitter were disgusted by his remarks:
For a city that just saw its 300th murder already this year, will the citizens finally step up and make a change?https://t.co/JNdZiKbz03
— Wayne Dupree ?? (@WayneDupreeShow) November 15, 2019
In this wild time I’d like everyone to know that you will almost certainly not be murdered by Baltimore Mayor Jack Young. Barely any possibility that Jack Young, American politician and mayor, will murder you. Pretty much zero chance on that
— Sonny (@sonicscrewdriv3) November 15, 2019
— Charmcitycop (@charmcitycop) November 16, 2019
Hoey said the issue was not blame, but change.
“We’ve all become too numb to this,” he told WJZ. “It’s not normal to have the murder rate that we have in Baltimore City.”
“It’s the equivalent of a terrorist strike every year in Baltimore.”
In July, Young pushed back against President Donald Trump, who had denounced the condition of Baltimore.
“We do have our problems, but we are no different than any other American city,” Young told USA Today. “I just think the president should focus more on America as a place where we can live as one nation, not divided by race.”
“If he really wants to help cities like Baltimore, he has to direct federal resources here to help us with infrastructure, instead of just bashing the City of Baltimore,” Young said.
Young has been Baltimore’s mayor since May.
Former Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned after a scandal erupted over thousands of dollars she was paid by the University of Maryland Medical System, of which she was a board member, for children’s books that she wrote — many of which were later found in a warehouse,
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