Confusion was rampant inside Baltimore Police headquarters on Friday following Mayor Catherine Pugh’s announcement that she had fired Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, as other top commanders had their access to the building and their cell phone service cut off, according to sources within the department.
Pugh announced Friday morning that she was replacing Davis with one of his three deputy commissioners: Darryl DeSousa, head of the patrol bureau.
As the news was being announced, the two other deputy commissioners — Dean Palmere, head of the criminal investigations bureau, and Jason Johnson, head of the strategic services bureau — had their access to headquarters cut off, the sources told the Baltimore Sun.
"My decision is because I'm impatient," Pugh said at a news conference at City Hall. "My decision is based on the fact that we need to get these [murder] numbers down. ... I'm looking for new and creative, innovative ways to change what we're seeing here every day."
While violent crime rates in Baltimore have been notoriously high for decades, Baltimore ended 2017 with 343 killings, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever — roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, currently has about 615,000 inhabitants, the New York Daily News reports.