More than 30 business and restaurant owners in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore are threatening to withhold taxes if city leaders do not address crime, trash and other issues they say are plaguing the waterfront neighborhood.
The group sent a letter to Baltimore officials Tuesday — two days after three people were shot in the popular and historic nightlife destination early Sunday morning — complaining about blatant drug sales, public drinking and other problems they say are happening in plain sight while police are handcuffed from enforcing the law.
The letter bemoans a “culture of lawlessness” that allows the " the kinds of violence and tragedy we witnessed (over the weekend),” the Baltimore Sun reports.
The letter is a sharp response not only to the violence of the weekend, but also to the policies of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who earlier this year announced that she will no longer prosecute a host of crimes, including drug possession, public drinking and urination, and trespassing, among others. It also comes as the police department faces mounting questions from residents about its strategies to quell violence as homicides and non-fatal shootings remain at high levels.
Zy Richardson, spokeswoman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, issued a statement saying the fights and shooting in Fells Point had nothing to do with the office policies to cease prosecuting nonviolent crimes.