“It’s just sad, man. Every day I’m crying inside because I wake up and I’m still here.”
These words were spoken by a man who lives in West Baltimore – also known as Murderland, Bulletmore, Bodymore, Baltimorgue, and Murdaland.
“It used to be okay. But it’s not, now.”
As of July 11, 2019, 171 murders were committed in Baltimore, up from 147 the previous year. Thirteen of those deaths occurred in the eleven days from July 1.
A 35-year-old female who grew up in the area agreed that the west side of metropolitan Baltimore had gone downhill in her lifetime:
“You can’t go home without feeling like a target. Or you don’t know if somebody’s going to run into your house – you’re at work and you can be shot – you can go to church, the movies…it’s happening all over the world – it’s just [that] the dynamics have changed so much.”
The uniformed neighbor revealed how the fear of encountering conflict on the streets has modified her prior party-going behavior:
“You’re just scared to walk anywhere…I don’t want to hang out past a certain time anymore. The violence is that bad.”
She said there were murder contracts out on would-be victims “for less than nothing “to kill somebody for less than $100” and volunteered that she got her gun permit eight years ago because “You have to be armed to live in Baltimore City.”
Speaking from behind a clear protective barrier – possibly bulletproof – a local convenience store employee said that armed robberies in the store and parking lot were common, despite the security cameras recording everything:
“They still don’t care. I saw this guy rob [someone], right here in front of me. A customer went out of the door and this guy just opened the door for him and put a gun to his head. And he robbed him right in his car.”
Still another concerned resident called out the corruption, the blight, and the same politicians making the same promises that never come true.
Elija Cummings served for 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, the first African American to hold this lofty position. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. He participates in a number of other boards and commissions.
Democrat Rep. Cummings was elected to represent West Baltimore where living conditions are at a third-world level, with piles of rotting garbage littering the streets in front of abandoned buildings. He vocally opposes how federal border protection and immigration officials handle detainees, especially children. Yet, Cummings has done little to improve the quality of life in his jurisdiction.
An area resident told it like it is as he expressed frustration over decades of inaction to remedy urban conditions as non-taxpayers get preference:
“Elija Cummings, he’s been there for 25 years – 25 years. He allocated $4.6 billion for illegal immigrants but he hasn’t donated any money…for West Baltimore. Where’s he been?”
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison was ordered to come up with an executable crime plan for Baltimore to stop the violence and solve problems identified within the Baltimore Police Department. Harrison’s solution involves spending $53 million on crime investigation – after taking the first step, which he said was “admitting we have a problem.”
Baltimore’s politicians may be the only ones who are blind, deaf, and dumb to the crisis that has gripped the formerly pre-eminent steel manufacturing town. New data from the FBI says that Baltimore ranked worst in 2018 for homicides among the country’s 50 largest cities and rated second place for overall violent crime rate.
Presidential tweets have called national attention to the high crime and rat problems infesting Baltimore, which Trump called “the number one city, proportionately, in the United States on crime. I saw a statistic where it’s worse than Honduras right now.”
On July 27, 2019, Trump pulled no punches when it came to criticizing Baltimore and its legal representation. In one tweet, the Commander-in-Chief charged:
“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA.”
Trump continued his attack on the way Rep. Cummings conducts himself and his electorial business by tweeting:
“As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
In a topical and timely side-note, on August 2, 2019, Rep. Cummings scared away an intruder who forced his way into the congressman’s West Baltimore’s Druid Heights neighborhood home at approximately 3:40 AM by confronting and yelling at the perpetrator.