(SPUTNIK) The nation has a new murder capital contender as Baltimore shockingly surpasses New York City- an alarming feat as it is much much smaller and less densely populated.
As of Wednesday, there have been 208 known homicides within NYC limits, but Baltimore logged its 213th that same evening.
Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of this is the fact that NYC is populated by a massive 8.4 million people, while Baltimore is the home to a mere 620,000. This means that the murder rate for NYC is at 2.5 per 100,000 while Baltimore has hit 34 per 100,000 people.
Chicago is still the deadliest city by the numbers, with 284 logged homicides since the first of the year. However, the city is home to approximately 2.7 million people, which means the murder rate is about 10.4 per 100,000 people- less than a third of rate we are seeing in Baltimore.
The highest number of murders in Baltimore happened in 1993, when the city saw 353 homicides. Last year, there were 211 in the entire year- a number which the city already surpassed this week.
In the month of May, following the unrest over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the city saw the highest murder rate since December 1971, with 43 recorded murders in the 31-day period. There were also 106 recorded non-fatal shootings.
Former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts blamed the surge of violence partly on the fact that 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics in the city were broken into during and following the looting during the protests. He stated that the increase of drugs on the streets has “thrown the city off-balance” and caused violence and turf wars between drug dealers.
“There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year,” Batts said in a statement in May.