Baltimore is one of the only cities in America that didn’t see a rise in murder in 2020. (The other being Newark, NJ.) That’s the good news. The bad news is that murder in Baltimore increased by 2/3rd after the riots of April 27, 2015 and a subsequent change in policing (“depolicing”) as demanded by “reformers.” The rise in violence was not “just a blip.” It became the new normal. It’s stayed at that high level ever since.
It is possible that there is a certain level of violence that any given city might see with proactive policing. And other without proactive policing.
What this might mean is that the increase in shootings and murder almost every city saw in 2020 — the largest one-year increase American has ever seen — is likely here to stay. I hope I’m wrong. But I wouldn’t expect any improvement unless police get back to policing repeat violent offenders, and unless prosecutors prosecute those offenders even for non-violence crimes. And unless some of the offenders are held in jail.
Let us not forget that for well over a decade America managed to bring down both crime and incarceration. But you would never have known that listening to reformers push for ever less policing and ever less prosecution and jail. They seemed unaware of the progress that had and was being made. Politically, criminal justice reform can only happen when there a basic level of public safety and public order. More importantly, just because somebody calls it “reform” doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good idea.