A Facebook group called “Baltimore Ceasefire” asks Baltimore residents to agree to a 72 hour peace agreement, to last from August 4th through August 6th. The movements asks residents to “celebrate life” and to do “fun things in their communities,” and not to kill anybody.
The goal is to see the first weekend in August “special,” in that “nobody kills anybody.” The group is necessitated by the fact that Baltimore is currently struggling with a record high murder rate, according to Baltimore’s CBSLocal, who reported that city leaders are looking for solutions.
According to CBSLocal, as of July 7, 2017:
181 people have been killed on Baltimore’s streets so far this year. That’s higher than the 127 in New York, a city that is almost 14 times larger.
Baltimore’s 181 murders is also higher than the 160 in Philadelphia, which has two and a half times the population.
And Baltimore’s murder rate more than doubles Chicago’s, which has gained international attention for its violence.
At the end of last year, Baltimore recorded the second highest number of murders per capita in the city’s history, and they began the year with a police shortage of 100 fewer officers than the previous year.
A press release put out by Baltimore Ceasefire explains that the “72-hour ceasefire” is a time for residents to have “cookouts, block parties, neighborhood cleanups” and other “positive community-based activities.” This is an alternative to a typical weekend of violence that would have residents staying inside or dealing with the details surrounding the death of a loved one.
According to Erricka Bridgeford, a Humanitarian/Social Reformer, people are grateful for the movement because they want to do something. She adds that “people aren’t born murderers, America creates murderers.” She say’s that the ceasefire isn’t just for the victims of violence, but for those that commit the crimes and later suffer mental distress.
A flier created by the group reads: “Baltimore Residents ‘Present’ Baltimore Ceasefire” and “Nobody Kills Anybody.”
In other Baltimore news, on June 7, an armed robbery turned into a deadly police shootout after the suspect tried to hide among the passengers on a bus, then opened fire on officers that pulled the bus over.
You can see a local news report describing the general violence in the city below.
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