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  • Writer's pictureArmstrong Williams

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s crime numbers don’t add up

PUBLISHED: April 29, 2024 | www.baltimoresun.com

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced his run for reelection at the Cahill Rec Center last year. In his State of the City address this year, Scott claimed his crime “strategy is working.” But an analysis of police data tells a different story. FILE (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

At the American Music Awards In 2009, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z famously countered rapper 50 Cent, who had been taking public shots at him, with the now legendary words: “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t,” referring to his rival’s music sales.


Numbers similarly discredit Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s crime reduction promises and assertions. Among other things, he pledged to slash homicides and shootings by 15% each year during his four-year term, a goal he met only once in his first three years.

The question is: Are Mayor Brandon Scott’s misleading crime messages unwitting or intentional?


During his first year, homicides and shootings increased. In the second year, the numbers remained flat. In 2023, his third year, numbers showed a plunge in homicides and shootings.  But who deserves the credit? Some say U.S. Attorney Erek Barron’s “Al Capone” style of prosecution on the federal level is responsible. Others credit State’s Attorney Ivan Bates, who entered office promising prison terms for illegally possessing firearms. But only rank partisans credit Mayor Scott, who took office in December 2020.Moreover, while homicides and shootings fell in 2023, many other categories of crime jumped in neighborhoods across the city, according to my analysis of Baltimore City Police Department data, including rape, aggravated assault, auto theft and burglary. Baltimore residents do not feel safe, according to opinion polls — including one released this month by The Sun, Fox45 and the University of Baltimore — regardless of the rhetoric Mayor Scott and his cronies continue to spout.


Baltimore police numbers show a jump in crime in 221 of the 278 neighborhoods that make up Charm City. Only 46 neighborhoods witnessed crime reduction, while crime remained level in 11.


Auto theft in Baltimore rocketed 133% in one year alone.  Mayor Scott’s ballyhooed redevelopment area around the Inner Harbor hosted 2,154 reported violent and quality-of-life crimes in the past two years.


In Scott’s backyard of East Baltimore, communities such as Belair-Edison saw a 109% increase in property crime over the past year, while neighborhoods such as Berea — a tight-knit African American community — witnessed auto thefts increase by 675%.

Little Italy and other historic areas witnessed a 500% climb in auto thefts and a 118% hike in violent crime during the last year. No neighborhood is safe, including communities represented by some of the city’s most influential politicians.

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