Baltimore police doing 12-hour shifts after deadly surge of violence

Story highlights

  • Baltimore had six deaths overnight Monday
  • Police commissioner announces 12-hour work shifts for city's officers

(CNN)The man was bleeding from his forehead when officers found the shooting victim as he lay dying on a waterfront road early Tuesday.

Less than an hour later, officers got called to a quadruple shooting, in which two people died in another Baltimore neighborhood.
The shootings overnight Monday left a chilling toll: Six people had been killed in Baltimore.
    It marked a tumultuous year so far for Charm City, which has seen 159 homicides, according to police data.
    Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis called the violence in the city "unconscionable."
    He instituted mandatory 12-hour work shifts for all of the city's police officers. Every sworn officer will be deployed to the streets through the upcoming weekend, he said.
    "We're just as angry and frustrated and ticked off about it as anyone else watching this," Davis said in a press conference Tuesday. "I expect people to be upset. I expect people to want a better Baltimore."
    Shortly after Davis' afternoon press conference, another quadruple shooting broke out Tuesday. Four men were injured; no one was killed, police said.

    'Will we be here tomorrow?'

    In Baltimore, makeshift memorials with melted candles, flowers and stuffed animals to mark the spot where a person has been killed have become common sights.
    "There's always a shooting," Donavin Dorsey, a Baltimore resident told CNN affiliate WMAR. "We hear them walking down the street. Last week, I heard all these gunshots and I just pray."
    Dorsey said he worries a lot.
    "I'm afraid. For my kids, for myself, friends. Will we be here tomorrow? I don't know."
    Another Baltimore resident Deana Carter told the station that the root problems are complex.
    "If you don't have any money and no food, no place to go, survival is the first thing," she said. "You're going to do what you have to to survive."

    Six deaths in seven hours

    Overnight Monday, Baltimore police reported six people deaths and two gunshot injuries in a span of seven hours.
    Monday 8:20 p.m. -- An adult male was found shot inside of a nearby car. The victim, who died, has not been identified.
    Monday 8:35 p.m. -- A 28-year-old man was shot and killed during what detectives believe was a drug dispute.
    Monday 10:35 p.m. -- A 37-year-old woman was shot and killed from what police say was a neighborhood dispute involving bullying.
    CNN affiliate WBBF reported that the woman had called police after several boys assaulted her son on Monday. When police left the scene, masked shooters approached and shot her in front of her kids.
    Tuesday 2:45 a.m. -- A 27-year-old man was found dead lying in the roadway.
    Tuesday 3:25 a.m. -- Four people were shot, two of them were killed -- a 26-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman.
    From Freddie Gray to a consent decree

    The Justice Department began investigating Baltimore police practices less than a month after the death of Freddie Gray. Here is a timeline of the case and the probe.

    April 2015: Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, suffers a broken neck in a prisoner transport van and dies a week later. His death becomes a symbol of the black community's mistrust of police and triggers days of protest and riots.

    May 1, 2015: Six police officers are charged in connection with Gray's death, including one who drove the transport van.

    May 8, 2015: The Justice Department announces it has opened an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.

    Fall 2015: Some officers start wearing body cameras in a pilot program.

    December 2015-July 2016: A jury deadlocks in the case against one officer in the Gray case, and three other officers -- including the van driver -- are acquitted.

    March 2016: The city announces some officers will start wearing body cameras permanently in the spring, and all officers are to wear them by 2018.

    May 2016: The police department says it has outfitted some prisoner transport vans with cameras that will record activity in the custody compartments.

    June 2016: Police announce an overhaul of their use-of-force policy.

    July 27, 2016: Charges against the three remaining officers in the Gray case are dropped.

    August 2016: The DOJ finds the BPD disproportionately stopped, searched and arrested African-Americans, and used excessive force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities, over at least a six-year period. Here are some of the most egregious examples cited in the report.

    January 2017: The federal government and Baltimore agree to terms on sweeping police reforms, including some that the city already has undertaken.

    In an editorial published earlier in the week, the Baltimore Sun decried the "crushing pace of homicides."
    "What we are experiencing is not a blip but evidence of a breakdown in the social order that has only accelerated in the two years since the riots sparked by Freddie Gray's death."
    Gray suffered a fatal injury while being transported in a Baltimore police van in 2015. His death became a symbol of the black community's mistrust of police and triggered days of protest and riots.
    Since then, 341 homicides were reported in 2015 and in 2016, the city had 318 homicides.
    Chicago has seen 281 homicides so far this year, according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune.

    What's fueling the killings?

    Baltimore's police commissioner cast the blame on "guns, gangs and drugs."
    "They are solving their petty BS disputes with a gun and they're shooting and killing people," Davis said.
    But the police commissioner also had criticisms for the justice system.
    He said that some people "continuously carry guns in our community with impunity because they do not fear an arrest. They do not fear a successful prosecution and quite frankly they don't even fear a damn guilty verdict because the guilty verdicts in this city are suspended, all or most of the time."
    Since 2016, 60% of guilty findings on gun offenses end with suspended sentences, Davis said.
    "Worst case scenario, they're going to get a finger wagged at them and they're going to get sent home with a suspended sentence," he said.
    He said the only way to get to a better place is if people "fear a consequence to their criminal behavior."