Baltimore records 300th murder, most since 1999

Baltimore saw its 300th and 301st homocide Saturday, hiking its murder count to its highest number since 1999. Baltimore's population has also declined since 1999, making this not only bloodier in a sense, but also sees the port city poised to set a grisly milestone by the end of the year: its most per capita murders in city history.

"The 300th homicide is no more tragic than the first homicide of 2015, or the 50th, or the 200th," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in statement. "Every victim leaves family, friends and a neighborhood who mourn their loss."

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The year 1999 was also the year Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley was inaugurated as mayor of the city. O'Malley's tenure saw a widely-credited dip in crime, but featured a new rash of controversial police tactics, matching national trends in many urban areas — a crime drop paired with a tough-on-crime approach.

Now, Baltimore's current woes as well as the police tactics O'Malley's administration employed are sources of criticism within the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders dinged O'Malley on crime at the CBS Democratic debate Saturday.

Baltimore has seen a surge in homocide since the controversial arrest and death of Freddie Gray in April, which sparked rioting that garnered national attention.

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