Baltimore mayor fires police commissioner

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake holds a news conference on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 in Baltimore.   (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake holds a news conference on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 in Baltimore. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

BALTIMORE (AP) – Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Rawlings-Blake announced the firing in a news release Wednesday afternoon. She said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner.

Rawlings did not give a reason, but the move comes amid a spike in the city’s homicide rate.

Baltimore was rocked with civil unrest in April after black resident Freddie Gray died one week after suffering a critical spinal injury in police custody. Six police officers have been criminally charged in Gray’s death.

Since the rioting stopped, the city has seen a sharp increase in violence, with 155 homicides this year, a 48 percent increase over the same period last year.

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