Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davison Friday after a large spike in murders in the city.
Commissioner Davis will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Darryl DeSousa, a 30-year veteran of the department.
Over 1,000 people were shot in Baltimore in 2017, with 343 homicides.
The city of Baltimore broke its previous record despite the state of Maryland having an “assault weapons” ban, a “high capacity” magazine ban, and a handgun purchaser fingerprint requirement.
Some police critics blamed the fallout from the Freddie Gray riots for the increase in murders in the city, and said police aren’t actively enforcing the laws the way they did before rioters burned parts of the city in the wake of Gray’s death in police custody.
"The conventional wisdom, or widely agreed upon speculation, suggests that the great increase in murders is happening partly because the police have withdrawn from aggressively addressing crime in the city's many poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods," said Donald Norris, professor emeritus of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, told ABC News.
However, the Baltimore police department should be staffed by 3,000 officers, and is operating on only 2,100. The city seems unable to find qualified people who want to be a cop in Baltimore.
With a staffing shortage being driven by an anti-police, soft on crime political climate, and a state's attorney who seems incapable of successfully prosecuting anybody who doesn't take a plea deal, Commissioner DeSousa may not last long before he's also replaced.