Homicide in Baltimore breaks 'ceasefire' meant to reduce violence

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(Reuters) – A 24-year-old man was shot and killed in Baltimore on Saturday, police said, breaking a 72-hour “ceasefire” called by activists who had pleaded for a pause in the city’s record homicide rate.

Community leaders organized around the social media hashtag Baltimore Ceasefire issued a general plea that “no one kills anyone” during the 72 hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

After no homicides were reported on Friday, the fatal shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Saturday, police said in a statement.

“The victim was rushed to an area hospital by friends,” police said, but he was pronounced dead at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

File Photo – People attend the “Sunset Meditation and Peace Walk” event at Patterson Park during the 72 hour community-led Baltimore Ceasefire against gun violence in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. August 4, 2017.Sait Serkan Gurbuz

A non-fatal shooting occurred two hours earlier in which a 22-year-old man was shot in the arm, police said.

By the end of July, Baltimore police reported a record 204 homicides, according to the Baltimore Sun, leading to the Baltimore Ceasefire movement.

“There is a war going on in Baltimore right now. We are experiencing genocide among our African-American males, both by the hands of the Police Department and from one another. We the people need a call to action in order to save the city and our community for our future generations,” Baltimore Ceasefire said on its Facebook page.

Baltimore, a majority black city, experienced rioting in April 2015 after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man, died in police custody. The death also led to an investigation that found the city’s police routinely violated civil rights.

Prosecutors brought charges against six officers involved in Gray’s arrest but secured no convictions.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Paul Tait

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