"It's not throughout the city as a whole," Batts told WBAL-TV of the violence. "It's very localized and unfortunately, it's with African American men who are involved in the drug trade and 80 to 85 percent of the victims are involved in the drug trade going back and forth."
|A city almost the same size as Portland, 63 percent black Baltimore had one of the highest murder rates in all of America in 2013... in January of 2014 (as of the 28th) there have been more homicides here than in all of 2013 in Portland...|
In fact, Baltimore seems to be free of ‘drug’ violence; instead, black violence permeates throughout the rotting corridors of the city [Motive known in few city homicides, police data shows, Baltimore Sun, 1-4-14]:
Just three of Baltimore's 235 homicides in 2013 have a known drug motive, and police say 30 of the victims were verified gang members, year-end statistics show.
As the year came to a close with an increase in homicides and shootings, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said in television interviews that up to 85 percent of the victims of the city's gun violence were black men involved in the drug trade.
He was not available for further comment.
Black males made up 84 percent of the city's homicide victims in 2013. And while officials say that drugs and gangs fuel much of the violence in Baltimore, detectives investigating the deaths verified drug motives in just three of the cases, according to police records. The motive is listed as unknown in 164 cases, the records show.
The refrain about drug ties is drawn from the criminal records of the victims. Police Department data indicates that 74 percent of the homicide victims last year had a drug arrest on their record and 86.4 percent had been arrested for some crime.
Among homicide suspects, 86 percent had criminal records and 72.5 percent had drug arrests.
Gang ties, not tracked by the department before 2013, were determined in 66 cases, and 30 of the victims were listed as gang members.
Two cities, almost exactly the same size in population.
Only difference: one is more than 70 percent white, the other is almost 70 percent black.