Friday, December 4, 2009

Ceremony Set to Mark 25th Anniversary of Baltimore Det. Marcellus Ward's Murder | Baltimore City Paper

Ceremony Set to Mark 25th Anniversary of Baltimore Det. Marcellus Ward's Murder | Baltimore City Paper: "A quarter-century ago tomorrow, in an apartment above the Kandy Kitchen store near Union Square in West Baltimore, Baltimore Police Det. Marcellus Ward was murdered during an undercover drug deal. The deadly transaction was recorded by the wire Ward was wearing. The tragedy, which will be commemorated by law enforcers at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the scene where it happened, 1829 Frederick Ave., has had an enduring impact. Ward had many friends, and the way he died has prompted some of them—in particular, two former Baltimore City state's attorneys, Kurt Schmoke and Stuart Simms—to imbue his senseless death with meaning.

'Listening to the tape, it just—it kind of changed me a great deal,' Schmoke said of Ward's killing during a 1990 episode of the news show 20/20. By that time, Schmoke had been Baltimore's mayor for nearly two years and had established a national profile as someone who questioned the drug war. When Ward was killed, though, Schmoke was state's attorney—and a tough one, at that, having compiled 'one of the highest drug conviction rates in the country,' as 20/20's John Stossel pointed out.

But Ward's murder, Schmoke continued, 'made me think that the shooter thought more about the money than he did about Det. Ward's life. And how can we, you know, change that around? And it seems to me we can't change it as long as there's big money to be made in drugs. If we don't have a strategy that takes the profit out of drug distribution, then people will continue to value the money more than they value human life.'"

Kurt Schmoke understands the issue. And I sense that more and more people are waking up as well.

1 comment:

  1. I was born in Baltimore city, and years later spent time teaching in a local jail on Maryland's Eastern Shore, also a holding facility for fedpen inmates. All of my students, with only one exception, were jailed for drug charges. Faced with lifetime records, and most coming form poverty or low-end working class, the course for their futures became more and more grim. It's a mess, it still is. But I appreciate your blog, and your recent posts about Bmore. Mayor Schmoke still shines in my eyes. Thanks.


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