Baltimore Is Reviving, But the Road to Recovery Is Long

The elites understand that creating fear and spreading chaos through the destruction of the rule of law is crucial to accelerating and achieving societal disintegration. 

The 2020 Black Lives Matter race riots ignited a nationwide explosion in homicides. Record-breaking murder and other violent crime have become the new normal in cities run by Democrats. Rampant crime and disorder have become institutionalized by leftist mayors, subversive district attorneys, pro-criminal legislation, the demonizing of police, and the dismantling of police departments. None of this has happened by accident. Every move has been part of the deliberate plan to burn America to the ground.

Baltimore stands atop all the cities infested by leftist ideology, policies, and government. This city provides the clearest example of the results of complete leftist Democratic domination and the model of what they want the rest of America to look like. But there is also good news. Baltimore also shows what can happen when people rise up to make a change.   

On January 3, Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s radical leftist state’s attorney, left office. Mosby implemented pro-criminal policies that transformed “Charm City” into the most lawless large city in America. Homicides, shootings, carjackings, robberies, and illegal drug-related disorder rose to unprecedented levels. Mosby’s legacy of human destruction includes almost 8,200 people murdered or wounded by gunfire.   

Mosby was a George Soros-backed prosecutor who believes the American criminal justice system is illegitimate, systemically racist, and must be dismantled through subversive “de-prosecution” policies. She is driven by a leftist-elite worldview that criminals are victims and police are criminals. Consequently, Mosby treated the actual victims of crime—overwhelmingly black—as collateral damage to be ignored in the quest for “social justice.”  

Mosby’s primary objective was to keep Baltimore’s criminals out of jail. This is exactly what she did through her policies of non-prosecution of crimes, dropping of felony charges, and plea deals. The results were deadly.  

Homicides skyrocketed 62 percent during her first year in office alone. Since then, the body count has totaled 2,653 killed—more than 300 a year during each year she has been in office. In addition to the murders, 5,523 people have been shot non-fatally. Black people in blue cities are overwhelmingly victims of the violent crime caused by leftist policies. Ninety-five percent of all Baltimore’s homicide and shooting victims have been black. 

Other Mosby policies have torn apart the social fabric of neighborhoods in other ways. In the name of “social justice” and “racial equity” Mosby arbitrarily refused to prosecute “quality-of-life” crimes. These include possession with intent to distribute dangerous drugs, drug possession, street prostitution, trespassing, open alcohol, urinating and defecating in public, and theft from vehicles. Meanwhile, misdemeanor drug arrests decreased 91 percent. Open-air drug markets now operate around the clock. 

Squeegee thugs with no fear of prosecution coerce and extort money from motorists with impunity. The police have abandoned many neighborhoods and surrendered the streets to the criminals. The elderly and decent families live in fear.

Mosby turned the city into a war zone. More people have been killed in Baltimore on her watch than the number of American soldiers killed in combat during the entire 20-year war in Afghanistan.

And Mosby’s pro-criminal policies are directly to blame. A recent study by Sean Kennedy of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, examined 110 homicide suspects since 2015. Kennedy’s investigation revealed that the vast majority of these offenders had already been convicted of serious crimes before committing the homicide. However, instead of being incarcerated they were still on the street and able to kill because Mosby had ensured that they had not served their eligible sentences. 

Bringing the War on Cops to Baltimore

Mosby brought the war on cops to Baltimore. With little fear of consequences from Mosby’s pro-criminal policies, offenders felt free to kill the police. Her plea deals ensured that criminals were free to carry out murders. 

In December 2021, Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Officer Keona Holley was assassinated as she sat parked in her squad car. Two career criminals emboldened by Mosby’s pro-criminal, anti-police ideology and policies, crept up behind Holley and shot her in the head. 

In June, Wicomico County Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard was also murdered. Hilliard, an 18-year law enforcement veteran, husband, and father of two daughters and a son, was shot and killed by a convicted armed robber he was trying to arrest for another crime. In 2019, the cop killer had been convicted of an armed robbery in Baltimore. Facing 20 years in prison, he literally walked away with probation instead—courtesy of a Mosby plea deal.

Two weeks after Deputy Hilliard was murdered, another career criminal kept on the street by a Mosby plea deal, attempted to murder BPD Sergeant Kenneth Ramberg. Ramberg was dragged for two blocks while attempting to pull an armed offender out of a car during a traffic stop. He sustained serious injuries, placing him on full life support. Thankfully, he made a full recovery.

After eight years, Baltimore’s law-abiding citizens had enough of the mayhem. In July, they came out overwhelmingly to put an end to Mosby’s reign of terror. She was rejected by 71 percent of Democratic Primary voters. Her defeat was historic. As I observed in American Greatness, this was the first time in a Democrat-run city that a leftist incumbent state’s attorney was defeated in a regular election. Ivan Bates, a rare Democrat who still supports the rule of law, is Baltimore’s new top prosecutor.

A Pro-Criminal, Anti-Police Mayor

Unfortunately, Bates’ success will be limited for at least his first two years in office. Brandon Scott, Baltimore’s far-left mayor, has two years remaining in his term. Scott shares Marilyn Mosby’s leftist-elite pro-criminal ideology. He enabled her policies and was Mosby’s principal political ally. 

Brandon Scott is strongly anti-police. As city council president, Scott led the defund the police campaign that slashed the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) budget by $22 million.

His five-year police-reduction crime plan is rooted in the antiwhite ideology of critical race theory. His plan delegitimizes the police by describing BPD as a systemically racist institution and “reimagines” policing by replacing cops with social workers and so-called “violence-interrupters.”

But the Baltimore plan is just the tip of the iceberg. Joe Biden’s “Comprehensive Strategy To Prevent and Respond To Gun Crime” has targeted 14 additional cities for identical police-reduction programs. Biden has approved access to the hundreds of billions in unused COVID Rescue Plan money to bankroll them.  

These schemes are inspired by Black Lives Matter and leftist elite visions of abolishing the police. This is a Trojan horse designed to undermine and dismantle police departments in every city where they will be set up. In Baltimore, the mayor’s “de-policing” plan is already working. BPD has hit record lows in manpower—now operating 600 officers short. During Scott’s two years in office, BPD has seen a net loss of 200 officers.  

Systemic Dysfunction and A Culture of Corruption

Baltimore is the most dysfunctional major city in America. Its root cause, as with other big Democrat-run cities, is not racism or mythical “racial inequity”—but systemic political corruption, incompetence, and patronage. For the past 55 years, Baltimore has been governed by Democrat politicians who have institutionalized a culture of corruption

Yet Baltimore stands apart from all other corrupt, crime-ridden Democrat-run cities due to the intensity of its destructive leftist policies. The entire Democratic Party establishment fully supported eight years of Marilyn Mosby’s pro-criminal, anti-police, and anti-victim policies. 

And with the partnership of past city council president and now current Mayor Brandon Scott, who ordered his police commissioner to collaborate with the non-enforcement policies—social disintegration accelerated out of control. Marilyn Mosby and Brandon Scott have caused combined levels of violent crime, heroin and fentanyl addiction, drug overdose deaths, lawlessness, public disorder, and social decay—that are unsurpassed anywhere in the country.

But the political rot in Baltimore goes much deeper than the mayor and outgoing state’s attorney. After assessing the results of Mosby’s performance, the City Council determined its verdict. But instead of issuing a resolution condemning Mosby for the chaos she brought upon Baltimore, they voted to acclaim her! On December 15, with Mosby half-way out the door, they voted to celebrate her epic failure by issuing a proclamation recognizing her for “eight years of distinguished service.”

The council’s shameful celebration of Mosby was orchestrated by her husband and Council President Nick Mosby. It reveals the contempt the council members have for their own constituents. This was not only a slap in the face to Baltimore’s law-abiding citizens who overwhelmingly voted her out but also shows the council’s disrespect and callous disregard for the thousands of victims of her policies.

Transforming Low-Level Crime into Murder

The tolerated thuggery of the so-called squeegee kids is one of the most notorious examples of Baltimore’s descent into lawlessness. These are mobs of young men and teenagers who seize control of busy downtown intersections, rush into the street to swarm motorists stopped at red lights, wash windshields without permission, and then demand money—intimidating, threatening, and violently attacking drivers who refuse to pay. The mobs are almost 100 percent black. Dozens of violent crimes have been documented.  

Scott’s and Mosby’s refusal to enforce existing laws against these offenders enabled the escalation of violence. Mayor Scott took his criminal enabling to the extreme by directing BPD to establish posts where uniformed officers serve as chaperones for the thugs. Baltimore Police Officers parked in squad cars oversee these crimes-in-progress—and ensure their unimpeded operation.  

This empowering of criminals culminated last July in the cold-blooded murder of motorist Timothy Reynolds, a married, 48-year-old, father of three. After he confronted the mob, one of them smashed Reynolds in the head with a brick, disorienting him. Then the thug charged with the murder, shot Timothy Reynolds five times—four times after he had fallen to the pavement. The offender, since identified as a hardcore gang member, is seen on closed circuit TV retrieving a gun from a backpack and covering his face with a mask just before the murder.   

Brandon Scott and Marilyn Mosby share the leftist ideology which claims that due to “systemic racism,” black criminals are actually the real victims and therefore cannot be held personally responsible for their criminal behavior. 

Instead of responding to the murder of Timothy Reynolds by prohibiting illegal squeegee activity, Brandon Scott decriminalized the behavior that led to the homicide. Scott issued a policy declaring that crime committed by young black men and boys is a “public health matter.” In other words, criminal behavior is a disease that is inflicted upon these offenders rather than a product of their individual decisions and actions. In Baltimore, young black men and boys who engage in this criminal activity will be exempt from enforcement of the law—by virtue of their skin color.   

A Low Bar of Expectations

The bar for Baltimore public servants is set low. Brandon Scott’s administration is staffed with incompetents. Accountability for failure and wrongdoing is nonexistent.  

Corruption and incompetence is an endemic feature of the Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) administration. Despite being among the highest-funded per student in the country, BCPS is one of the worst performing school systems in America with among the lowest test scores in the country. Forty-one percent of high school seniors have below a 1.0 grade point average; at a major high school one-third of the students read at kindergarten, first, and second grade levels; 12,000 failing grades were found to be fraudulently changed to passing grades; 1,000 “ghost students” were kept on the books to ensure continued state funding, even though they had been gone for years, in jail, or dead.

CEO Sonja Santelisis is paid $445,000 a year to lead the Baltimore Public Schools fiasco. If Mayor Brandon Scott was on the level, he would be calling for a criminal investigation, her firing—or both. Instead, he responded to the epic incompetence, corruption, and failure in typical Baltimore government fashion—with public praise and recognition 

Approaching A Point of No Return

The fear produced by rampant crime and disorder is driving law-abiding people and small businesses out of Baltimore. The Census Bureau estimates that since 2015, the year Mosby took office, Baltimore has lost from 6,000 to 8,000 residents a year. The majority of those fleeing the chaos are working class blacks who can still afford to move. 

As neighborhoods disintegrate, the public spaces once used and enjoyed by decent families are taken over by gangs, drug dealers, and the entire criminal element. And once a community is lost, it doesn’t come back—it only accelerates the disintegration of the next one. 

For the leftist elites who hate America and are dedicated to “reimagining” policing, placing the interests of criminal offenders before victims, and subverting the rule of law the leftist regimes in Baltimore were the tip of the spear. It has been the pro-criminal model they envision establishing across the country.  

With Marilyn Mosby, they had the ultimate leftist state’s attorney. She was dedicated to not prosecuting and willing to unleash crime and violence on the community—no matter how many black bodies piled up.                     

In Brandon Scott, they have the ultimate leftist mayor. He is committed to maintaining a politically corrupt system and dedicated to undermining policing as we know it. Scott is the perfect vessel for funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into putting these leftist schemes into action. And like Mosby, he has no conscience. Communities destroyed and black lives lost are not factors he considers.

They were all on their way to achieving their dystopian dream until the decent Democratic voters of Baltimore got in their way. We owe them a debt of gratitude.  For Americans who believe in restoring the rule of law, it is people like them who are our tip of the spear.

Baltimore’s citizens are waking up and standing up. They know that regime change is the only way to save their families and their city. With their defeat of Marilyn Mosby, they are partway there.

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About Maurice Richards

Maurice Richards is the former chief of the Martinsburg Police Department in West Virginia. He served as chief from 2015 to 2020 after a 24-year career in the Chicago Police Department. Richards holds a doctorate in adult education from Northern Illinois University. His writing has been featured in Human Events, The Federalist, The Hill, and The Daily Caller

Photo: (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for BET Networks)