Crime Scenes: Pleading for peace in 'trigger-happy place'

A poetic look back at crime through the year

December 23, 2010|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

We left you last year with a plea for peace

Hoping beyond hope for calm on our streets

Cops say crime's dropping at a steady pace

City officials ask, did you find your "happy place?"

Baltimore's top cop Bealefeld certainly found his

A new prosecutor to help fight the crime biz

The commish put a campaign sign in front of his house

Now he's finally got his dream crime-fighting spouse.

Jessamy claimed to be "tough and smart on crime"

Voters saw her as too timid and ended her time

The image of criminals mimicking the Wild West

Helped Bernstein with his slogan of being Eliot Ness.

But now Bealefeld and Bernstein must get along

And end the bickering that has gone on too long

Cops and prosecutors, on the same side

To save a battered city and restore civic pride.

Last year murder dropped to historic lows

A hard to act to follow in a city of blows

Nine people killed one weekend this summer

A Memorial Day massacre from which hard to recover.

A slew of servicemen slain not in battles overseas

But on our very own streets, where blood runs with ease

One gunned down in a hookah bar; another by a cop

Victim groped a woman; that's enough to get popped.

A Hopkins researcher stabbed as he walked home

In Charles Village, with his mother on the phone

The killing drew outrage, the suspects were "hunting to rob"

It conjured up images of a callous Baltimore mob.

The suspects were free despite previous crimes

Which in Baltimore seems to happen all of the time

Bernstein screamed — Stephen Pitcairn shouldn't have died

Had Jessamy done her job, he said, he "might still be alive."

An elderly guard shot got plenty of fodder

For a robbery that netted just thirteen dollars

A church caretaker killed while out on a break

An off-duty cop slain for a parking space.

A girl just 14 and armed with a gun

Held up a man who refused to succumb

He laughed instead at her childish mug

Police say she shot him for being so smug.

"Pulled over for my tints" the Ravens' Ray Rice tweeted

In the dark-windowed Range Rover in which he was seated

But out in the county, the police don't want your dough

Rice said: "Gave the officer an autograph … and he let me go."

Even cockroaches aren't safe here anymore

Someone stole one right from a store

It was of the Madagascar hissing variety

Nothing's too low for crooks in Charm City.

Cops and firefighters fought over their pensions

Argued staffing too short to give the city protection

Two four-alarm fires ripped through vacants on a block

We needed help from D.C. to get the fire knocked.

Then came fires in Mount Vernon and The Block

Strippers racing for safety wearing only their socks

Yellow booth No. 8 is where the fire broke out

The clubs soon reopened; was there ever a doubt?

Critics again challenged the city's crime numbers

And on rape reports, the cops did blunder

Victims pressured to recant or told they were lying

With new reviews, number of rapes are now skying.

For a moment, Baltimore claimed a top prize for the nation

Mobtown topped Motor City as the murder capital designation

But Detroit tried to cheat by hiding 33 of its killings

And Baltimore was left with a No. 2 billing.

And so we celebrate yet another holiday season

And for those of you left, be happy you're breathing

Stay snug under cover and tight in your beds

With visions of gunmen dancing in your heads.

Not all is bad in the crime-weary city

We have a new slogan to keep us all giddy

A PR campaign brought us a smiley face

It quickly became, "Find your trigger-happy place."

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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