Baltimore mayor tells police to do their job as violence increases and arrests drop

Since Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby decided to prosecute six police officers for the death of Freddie Gray, crime has gone way up in the city, but arrests are way down since the riots in April.

Now Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that she told the police union that she expects officers to do the work to get a paycheck.

People call it the "Ferguson Effect" -- which means police officers around the country are afraid to do their jobs and afraid to make arrests because it puts their careers and lives at risk.

"It's a free-for-all now and that's how they got it now out here," said Terrell Mack. "That's how they see it."

Baltimore is on edge from record gun violence since Gray's death. On Wednesday, the mayor partly blamed the crime on the police not doing their jobs.

"I've been very clear with the [fraternal order of police] that my expectations is that their members, when they show up, as long as they plan to cash their paycheck, our expectation [and] my expectation is that they work," said Rawlings-Blake.

The statistics are clear. Shootings in 2015 in the city are up a jaw-dropping 80 percent since last year. Total crime is way up with a big spike since the riots in April. The arrests have dropped sharply in the last two months since the riots.

At North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue -- ground zero for the riots and protests -- people had mixed views of the police.

"I think they are doing their job, but they are very cautiously doing it," said Baltimore resident Charles Wimbush. "They are afraid to arrest anybody. In fact, I heard a policeman the other day talking to another policeman -- said that, ‘It's terrible. There's nothing we can do about it, but I'm afraid to arrest somebody.'"

"I feel their frustration," said Robert Davis. "They're getting chastised for everything they do. Damned if you do, damned if you don't."

Mack said he was detained by police at this corner just last week as he was coming home from his job at McCormick Spice.

"They said, ‘You got anything on you?' I said, ‘I don't have anything on me.' He said, ‘Are you sure.' I said, ‘I ain't got nothing on me man,'" Mack told us. "He put me in the cuffs, he set me on the curb, he checked my pockets, checked my socks, my shoes. He went in my pants.

"I said, ‘My man, I ain't got nothing on me.' In my pants, all that. He said he don't care, kicked me in the stomach, told me to get a life, get the [expletive] out of here. That's exactly what he said and that's how it goes. That's exactly how it goes. That's every day."

On Thursday, the Baltimore police union responded to the mayor's comments saying:

"As I have stated on multiple occasions, our members are not now, nor have they ever, engaged in a work slowdown as has been suggested. Our officers are on the streets of Baltimore every day and night, patrolling as required and making arrests as necessary. The community has shown us tremendous support and we ask the same from Baltimore City leadership."

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