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FOX45 Sits Down with Police Commissioner Batts

Updated: Tuesday, November 27 2012, 08:35 PM EST
Baltimore's homicide rate is now over 200. It follows a violent weekend where two men were killed, including a 16 year old and several others wounded.

FOX45 sat down with the city's new Police Commissioner today for a candid assessment of this latest wave of violence. It's been a week of violence that has shaken this neighborhood and many others in the past week. 

A series of shooting has left two young men dead and several others wounded. New police commissioner Anthony Batts says these crimes are not random. They're sparked by a growing rivalry between two gangs. 

Unlike many of his predecessors Batts is now identifying the gangs by name: The Bloods and The Black Guerrilla Family. 

Batts said today in an interview, "They're charging other drug dealers 20% interest to be able to sell drugs in their community or area.  They're basically doing franchisement, as ugly as it sounds and as another particular gang is pushing against that and refusing to pay the 20%.  We're now having a conflict that's taking place now."

Commissioner Batts says detectives are now focused on identifying those responsible for the rash of shootings.

Batts is fighting to get ahead of the violence, "We're going to have retaliatory shootings, so let's get on it fast. Let's get on it quick. It doesn't take brain surgery to figure out where this is going to pop up." 

To bolster his crime fighting strategy, Commissioner Batts says he's already started to deploy administrative offices from inside to the streets and he says they'll remain throughout the holidays.

Batts is targeting repeat, violent offenders - regardless of their backgrounds, "We all know the players; we know who's doing what, and at this point in time. It's just tracking 'em down and locking 'em up." FOX45 Sits Down with Police Commissioner Batts

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