Baltimore, Maryland has one of the highest crime rates in the United States. It also is a city that has endured the most liberal leadership, similar to other crime-stricken areas such as Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. As recently as September, in the span of only 16 hours seven people were shot in various neighborhoods throughout Baltimore.

Unfortunately, that scenario is not uncommon in the area. According to the Baltimore Sun, at least 296 people have been murdered so far in the Baltimore area this year. Baltimore’s mayor, Bernard “Jack” Young said during his weekly press conference that “there’s not any lack of leadership of my part.” He continued, “that’s what people need to understand. I’m not committing the murders. The police commissioner is not committing it. The council is not committing it. So how can you fault leadership?”

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Young then seems to suggest that the answer of who is responsible is simply just how things are in the city. “You know this has been five years of 300-plus murders, and I don’t see it as a lack of leadership.” If there is no change for the better, year after year, then who else is to blame other than leadership? And furthermore, what leader would simply accept the mentality of “this is just how it is.”

Fox News reports that Young’s remarks follow an op-ed published earlier in the week from John Hoey, the president and CEO of the Y in Central Maryland. The op-ed “criticized the city’s inability to reduce violent crime rates, despite other cities having done so.” Hoey’s motivation for writing the op-ed came after one of his employees, Jordan Taylor, a 31-year-old who was a youth sports coach, was murdered last week.

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One serious concern is that Baltimore police have been forced to somewhat relax “the intensity of their enforcement efforts in the wake of Freddie Gray’s 2015 death while in police custody and the protests that followed.” There may also be data that “suggests cops have been reporting fewer and fewer criminal incidents in the years since Gray died, leading many observers to draw a correlation between over cautious law enforcement stemming from the heightened scrutiny.”

A police force who have their hands tied to do their job correctly does unequivocally fall under the responsibility of leadership. Despite refusing to take any blame because he did not commit the murders himself, mayor Young declares “we’re going to get the bad guys…We’re going to get them.” Perhaps start with supporting law enforcement.