‘Nobody shoot anybody!’
‘Names not numbers!’
‘You matter! You matter!’
I won’t lie—This was an exceptionally violent year in Baltimore. As of 29 December, 343 persons were killed in the city, and a police officer scheduled to testify against the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force was shot and killed (allegedly with his own weapon) the day before he was scheduled to testify in court.
But, this was also a year in which the unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 5%.This was the year Erricka Bridgeford was named Marylander of the Year 2017 for her activism, specifically, the ‘Baltimore Ceasefire’ of 4-6 August. A judge ruled that Black Lives Matter was not an organization in the traditional sense, and therefore could not be sued.
This was a year of terrors, horrors, and tragedy; it was also a year of bravery, activism, and the tenacious belief that Baltimore is a good city, and will improve. In short, 2017 was a year of contradictions.
I write this to pay my respects to the persons killed this year. I write this to reiterate that I believe Baltimore is a good, is a loving, city.
I do not write this to inflame, I do not write this to misinform, I do not write this to sound woke for the sake of sounding woke. The facts and stats I provide are linked to legitimate sources. Baltimore IS a good city, and it’s a far better place than is often portrayed in media.
I write this to say: 2017 was an especially rough year for the city, but 2018 will be better. We will make it so.