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Councilmen Cohen and Schleifer on a week of important city news

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Baltimore's City Hall houses the offices of the mayor and those of the Baltimore City Council. The building also hosts the city comptroller, some city departments and chambers of the Baltimore City Council. (WYPR photo)

WYPR's news partner at the Baltimore Banner reports this morning that Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates has dropped the case against Keith Davis, who has already been tried four times for the murder of Kevin Jones in 2015.

During his campaign for State’s Attorney, Bates had indicated that he would drop the charges against Davis. He recused himself from the review process of the case, which took place after he took office early this month. Former State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has long held that Davis is guilty of this crime, and she was planning on re-trying him in May of this year. In two of Davis’ four trials, juries were not able to come to a unanimous verdict. In the other two trials in which juries did reach a guilty verdict, judges overturned those verdicts.

The Banner is also reporting that yesterday, The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against two Baltimore Police officers who shot and killed Donnell Rochester. That shooting was the subject of several protests. An investigative report concluded that in February of last year, Rochester, an 18 year-old from Odenton, was driving in the direction of an officer when police opened fire. Prosecutors concluded that the shooting was lawful self-defense.

This week, there were leadership shake-ups at two city agencies. Jason Mitchell, who came to Baltimore from Oakland, California, 20 months ago, announced that in April, he will resign his position as the Director of the Department of Public Works.

And, Donna Drew Sawyer, the CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts was forced out of her position after Mayor Brandon Scott demanded her resignation.

For some informed perspectives on these developments, Tom turns to two Baltimore City Councilmen: Zeke Cohen, who represents the District 1 in south Baltimore, and Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, who represents District 5 in northwest Baltimore.

They join us on Zoom…

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(L-R) Councilmembers Zeke Cohen (D., District 1) and Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer (D., District 5). (courtesy photos)

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