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One month after mass shooting, Baltimore Mayor Scott doesn’t commit to police audit timeline

A memorial in Brooklyn Homes near the site of Sunday's mass shooting. Photo by Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR.
Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR
A memorial in Brooklyn Homes near the site of Sunday's mass shooting.

Wednesday marks one month since the mass shooting at the Brooklyn Day block party that left two dead and 28 injured.

In the wake of the tragedy, considered the worst mass shooting in Baltimore’s modern history, officials and citizens alike were quick to look for answers and in some cases, assign blame.

Interim Police Commissioner Richard Worley, who took the post less than a month before the shooting, has been forthright in accepting his department’s mistakes. “This was an even greater breakdown in communication and judgment that is absolutely unacceptable,” Worley told Baltimore City councilmembers during an oversight meeting in July. He said multiple times that there was an internal investigation being done into BPD’s response that would “hopefully be done within 45 days” and that the investigation would be a “public facing document.”

Mayor Brandon Scott, who is up for re-election in 2024, could not promise that timeline to reporters on Wednesday — noting that internal audits can take many months.

“When I see it, you’ll see it,” Scott told the press. “I want us to be able to go through and know every single thing, … every action that was taken so that we can respond appropriately. So I'm not going to rush them to complete that.”

Worley told the Baltimore City Council last month that the report was being done by the Compliance Bureau who is overseen by Judge James Bredar — the federal monitor for the consent decree, a series of mandated policing reforms, between the U.S. Department of Justice and Baltimore City.

Police have said they believe that multiple shooters were responsible for the Brooklyn Day carnage. But one month in, only one arrest has been made in relation to the shooting — a 17 year-old who is not charged with firing a gun and is currently detained without bail. He’s being charged as an adult on five misdemeanor charges.

Scott refused to admit or show any frustration at the lack of arrests in the case. “ We have ATF, FBI, the best in the world working on this case, when we make an arrest, it will be one that sticks,” he said. The “ATF” is the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

There will be a second city council hearing into the Brooklyn Day shooting response in September.

Mayor Scott began Wednesday’s press conference by touting July’s homicide numbers: despite the mass shooting, there were 19 homicides in July. As The Baltimore Banner reported, July is traditionally the deadliest month in the city and this month’s numbers are the lowest since 2015.

This year, as of Wednesday, has seen 159 people killed by homicide compared to 211 at this time last year. There has been a 7% reduction in nonfatal shootings so far in 2023.

Emily is a general assignment news reporter for WYPR.
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