Sean Suiter, an 18 year veteran of the Baltimore police force, joined its homicide unit two years ago to help combat the murder spree plaguing the city. Suiter thus bucked a trend. The Baltimore police force was shrinking due to the resignation of officers in response to lack of support from the mayor and the local prosecutor following the accidental death of Freddy Gray while in police custody.
Last week, Suiter became Baltimore’s 309th murder victim this year. 2017 is the third consecutive year in which Baltimore’s rate exceeds 300. That level hadn’t been reached since the 1990s.
The murder rate surged following the shameful performance of the mayor and the city prosecutor in response to Gray’s death and the subsequent rioting in April 2015. Acknowledging the obvious, Baltimore’s new mayor says that violent crime in the city is “out of control.”
Suiter was shot in a notoriously violent section of the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. The father of five was in the neighborhood investigating a triple killing from last year and saw a man acting suspiciously. When Suiter, wearing a suit and tie like all homicide detectives, attempted to speak to the man, the suspect shot him.
More than a dozen people have been shot or killed in the same area in recent years. One resident, a 26 year-old man, told the Baltimore Sun, “It’s getting crazy — almost as if death and murder is the norm today.” To another resident it seemed like “we experience these killing every single day.”
That’s how it looks to residents. To the Obama Justice department, it looked like a racist police force was over-policing a largely African-American neighborhood.
How does it look to CNN? We don’t know. It largely ignored the murder of Sean Suiter. Brad Wilmouth of NewsBusters has the details (or lack thereof).