Baltimore’s mayor removes police commissioner after the city recorded more than 340 homicides in 2017

Friday, Baltimore’s mayor removed the city Police Commissioner Kevin Davis in favor of one of his deputy, saying the city wasn’t reducing violence fast enough amid a soaring homicide rate.

Subsequently, Mayor Catherine Pugh elevated Deputy Commissioner Darryl D. DeSousa, saying she’d tried to work hand-in-hand with Davis during her 13 months in office but needed to see more progress.


DeSousa said one of his first initiatives is to temporarily put more officers on the streets largely by transferring administrative officers and detectives to patrol duties and to place them in “strategic locations,” such as areas near “problematic businesses.”

His promotion comes after Baltimore recorded more than 340 homicides in 2017 the highest yearly number on record in more than two decades.

“I’m impatient,” Pugh said in a news conference on Friday morning. “We need violence reduction. We need the numbers to go down faster than they are. This commissioner (Davis) worked hard, but I’m looking for new ways to change what we’re seeing here every day. I need my police department to give me creative ideas.” 

The firing of Davis, who was promoted from deputy to commissioner in 2015 amid a public uproar over the death in police custody of city resident Freddie Gray, shakes up a department that has seen its share of recent challenges.

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