Nearly 40 Baltimore businesses are threatening to withhold part of their taxes if city officials don’t address the crime and other security problems caused by the “Defund the Police” movement.
However, the business group’s letter did not specify what taxes they were threatening to withhold and did not give a deadline for this action.
The letter was sent to Baltimore officials on Tuesday, June 8. The letter complains about blatant drug dealings, public drinking, and other security issues before the people’s eyes. Still, the police force is powerless because it is bound by the policies of the city.
The letter was sent two days after three people were shot in two separate shootings at Fells Point. According to Baltimore Sun, two young men were shot at 1700 blocks of Thames Street in the first incident. The second one occurred shortly thereafter close by.
The letter warns of a prospect of people living in a “culture of lawlessness” that allows “the kinds of violence and tragedy we witnessed [over the weekend].”
Baltimore is one of the cities that have decided to partially cut police funding in response to the “Defund the Police” movement that exploded after the death of George Floyd last year.
In addition to highlighting violence, the letter also opposes the policies of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Earlier this year, Mosby announced that the state of Maryland would not prosecute a range of crimes, including theft, possession of drugs, drinking, urinating in public, and other offensive or harmful behavior.
Before the letter was sent by the group of 37 businesses, the police department in Baltimore had been facing increasing pressure from residents wanting to know what the police are doing to stem the ongoing violence.
Baltimore officials changed in the face of a sharp increase in crime and great pressure from the public. They now propose to increase the police force’s budget by $28 million next year.