Fifty years, ago the national homicide clearance rate — meaning the percentage of homicide investigations that lead to the identification and arrest of a suspect — was over 90 percent. Today, it’s 64.1 percent. And in Baltimore, it’s 53.7 percent. So it’s fitting that the Department of Justice has chosen Baltimore as the first city to participate in its “Homicide Investigation Enhancement, Training and Technical Assistance Project,” which, no, does not reduce to a catchy acronym.
Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis told the Baltimore Sun that experts will visit Baltimore to evaluate “every aspect of a homicide investigation, from the first notification to the last day of testimony.”
A professor at the School of Criminal Justice, David Carter said a growing “don’t snitch” mentality contributes to historically low clearance rates. It is implied that he pins the prevalence of this attitude on gang members. But couldn’t it also have something to do with a fear of police violence?
If I couldn’t trust that a suspect would be safe in police custody, I might hesitate to cooperate with detectives, too.