Baltimore Police Commissioner Fired Amid Homicide Rise

The Baltimore mayor fired the troubled city's police commissioner Wednesday, saying that a recent spike in homicides weeks after an unarmed black man died of injuries in police custody required a change in leadership. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked Police Commissioner Anthony Batts for his service — and praised the job he had done — but said growing criticism of his leadership had become a "distraction" that was preventing the city from moving ahead. The firing comes 2 1/2 months after the city broke out into riots following the death of Freddie Gray, who died in April of injuries he received in police custody. Following Batts' firing Wednesday, the union issued a statement reiterating the report's concerns but also expressing hope for the future.



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