Riot-scarred Baltimore recorded its 300th homicide of the year on Saturday, police said, up 42 percent from last year’s total and its highest toll since 1999 with more than a month still to go in 2015.
There has been an upsurge in killings in some U.S. cities. In Baltimore, the number of homicides has surged since protests and rioting in April sparked by the death of a black man in police custody.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the largely black city of about 620,000 people needed to come together to fight the violence.
This year is the first time Baltimore’s annual homicide toll has topped 300 since 1999, when 305 were recorded.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey last month said that murder rates were soaring in many cities partly because police were holding back from aggressive tactics, fearful of being video recorded and accused of brutality.