Baltimore's mayor urges residents to stop shooting each other because hospitals need beds for coronavirus patients

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

  • Baltimore's mayor implored residents to halt violent crime because hospitals need to save bed space for coronavirus patients.

  • As of Friday, Baltimore had 11 coronavirus cases and Maryland officials reported 149 across the state

  • "We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we're going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus," Mayor Jack Young said, according to CBS Baltimore.

  • The city has seen a number of violent incidents recently, including a mass shooting on Tuesday that left seven injured.

  • At the same time, the city's police department is also easing up on arrests for non-violent offenses out of fear that an outbreak could spread through facilities and sicken both inmates and staff.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young urged residents this week to stop shootings and violent crimes because medical resources will be needed to treat coronavirus patients.

Young decried recent episodes of shootings and other violence as the city as coronavirus cases tick upward

As of Friday, Baltimore had 11 coronavirus cases, and Maryland officials reported 149 across the state

"I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently," Young told reporters in a press conference, according to CBS Baltimore.

He continued: "We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we're going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus. And it could be your mother, your grandmother, or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration."

Baltimore officials have struggled to respond to both the coronavirus and recent violent crimes, including one mass shooting Tuesday evening that injured seven people.

At the same time, the city's police department is trying not to increase the jail population out of fear that an outbreak could spread through facilities and sicken both inmates and staff.

The Baltimore Police Department told its officers Thursday to use discretion when it came to low-level arrests, and prosecutors announced the day before they would not pursue cases involving drug possession, prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, and public urination.

"An outbreak in prison or jails could potentially be catastrophic," Marilyn Mosby, the city's chief public defender, said. "Now is not the time for a piecemeal approach where we go into court and argue one by one for the release of at-risk individuals."

Insider