I remember a time when injuring innocent women and children were unthinkable crimes. Living in Baltimore has gotten scarier and scarier as the years pass by. The streets of Baltimore have been over run with crime recently as the community tries to heal from last years clash between the community and police.You have to ask yourself why is it that rapist, child molesters and murderers of children are more afraid of general population in prison than walking the public street. They fear the criminals inside who will punish them for their actions worse than they do the police or court system that will put them there.
I find myself watching the news with my mouth wide open often these days, shocked and horrified at the stories coming through the tube. While it may be easy to tune out the things happening around the world it’s hard to block out the things happening right around you. The things that make you change your routine or look over your shoulder more, the things that make you call your loved ones just to make sure they’re home safe.
Baltimore has become a smorgasbord of just that….things that make you want to alter your life, hide in the house or just pack up and leave. Hiding in the house doesn’t even help in Baltimore these days, in the last 45 days there have been at least 3 home invasions where the elderly were attacked in Baltimore. 90-year-old Mary Hines was sexually assaulted, beaten and left tied up in her home in Northwest Baltimore last month. She died 2 weeks later from her injuries. Just days later an elderly couple were followed home and robbed in their residence at gun point. This past weekend the story broke of a 71-year-old woman who had her back door kicked in by a thug who raped her in her home while her 4-year-old grand-daughter slept in the next room. The rapist also robbed her and stole her car, which he crashed the same night before fleeing on foot.
A local female bus driver was brutally beaten by a passenger with a small child on board a crowded bus. Why? The assailant was angry, thinking the bus driver and purposely passed her by earlier in the day.
This afternoon I took a nap and woke up to the news that an 11-year-old boy had been robbed at gunpoint by 2 thugs on his way home from school. These idiots put a gun to the chest of a young boy ordered him down on the ground and stole his tennis shoes and book bag. His book bag, really?
It immediately made me think of a call I got from my 15-year-old son last month. He was afraid, he called on his way home from school to have someone on the phone with him as he walked. He told me there was a man outside walking behind him talking about what he was going to do to “that mf right there.” The man had crossed the street to be behind my son and he felt unsafe because he was the only “mf” out there. I stayed on the phone with my son until he got home but the fact that I needed to freaked me out.
I’m a grown woman and I do the same, I will call a friend and say “ I’m walking to the store” and keep him on the phone with me until I have reached my destination and arrived back home safely. I carry pepper spray and though I don’t carry it I have a taser. The recent crimes in Baltimore make me want to carry it. Do you know where I keep it, right next to my bed, it’s within arm reach, in case I am the one waking up to some idiot breaking into my home. I live in a first floor apartment, can you imagine how light I’m sleeping these days?
Our youth are lost. I can’t even begin to recount the stories of teen arrested in the last month for home invasions, sexual assaults and even a bump and car theft ring. These teens would bump someone’s car and when the person got out to access the damage either they would be robbed at gunpoint or another teen would hop in the car and pull off.
Last month Baltimore police posted an extensive list of safety tips for seniors , I find it absolutely disheartening that I live in the type of city where children and the elderly are prey. I am even more saddened by the fact that many of these crimes are being carried out by children barely old enough to wipe their own asses. I remember a day when the kids that has criminal records early were called juvenile delinquents, when they were the kids you weren’t allowed to talk to and play with when they were sent to reform schools. These indigents are in school with our kids now, they are assaulting teachers in school, they’re who the kids are looking up to and emulating. It’s now cool to be a thug.
Recently there were cries of outrage in the city after a 14-year-old boy was shot by police while brandishing a replica gun. The “toy” gun looked so real that even officers had a hard time differentiating the difference between it and one of their service revolvers. I was shocked at the misplaced outrage. Where was the outrage at the parents? The child’s mother was 100% aware that her son had walked out of her home with the realistic looking “toy” gun. When police encountered the youth with the gun they ordered him to drop his weapon, instead he ran as if he were guilty of something and was shot.
We teach our children that guns are toys, let them emulate thugs and then get mad because they were shot down in the street like a criminal. Go figure.
Women are being gunned down in the streets. Last month a soon to be married woman was shot and killed outside her home while taking out the trash. It appears to have been a targeted crime. Last week a local female pastor and teachers aide was shot in front of her home at 7:30 a.m. She was definitely targeted. Cameras caught images of her murderer yet he still has not been captured.
Baltimore’s criminals have reached an all time low. Putting the constant gun violence and murders aside, the city has become exponentially dangerous and scary. What is this world coming to? Why do we have to live like prisoners? Looking over our shoulders as we walk down the street, nervous when a teenage boy gets too close, unable to relax on the bus because of the people selling weed on the bus and acts of random violence against each other and even the operator of the bus, endangering the lives of all passengers.
Summer hasn’t even started yet and the city is in chaos. All I can do is try my best to make it from day to day like everyone else who lives here. You have to wonder though, what will it take to get this city on track? If the change in leadership when the new mayor takes over will have any effect on the crime in the city we will have to wait and see. For now, we have to just try to survive one day at a time.