The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Crime Comes from Multiple Problems

May 24, 2021

On May 8, three more people were killed, adding to Baltimore’s death toll of over 100 people murdered since January 1.

This time the shooter was known to police. Three times, neighbors had taken out a peace order against him for his many threats. Others in the neighborhood also knew the man had problems. He set his own house on fire, before killing three neighbors. Police ended up killing this man.

It is clear in this case that the man suffered mental health issues. He had called the police over and over, with so many unbelievable complaints and accusations that the 911 dispatchers asked their supervisors if they could advise him they could no longer take his calls.

This is not a society with a solution to mental health issues. Millions go untreated or end up in jail, still untreated. In fact, every jail in the country and most hospitals end up holding people who need psychiatric treatment because there is an acute shortage of psychiatric beds and psychiatric personnel in the U.S.

One organization estimates there is only 1 psychiatric bed for every 10,000 people in the U.S. population, and that number keeps dropping. In 2010, there were 43,000 psychiatric beds, but in 2016, there were 5,000 less.

No one seemed able to solve this Baltimore man’s problems, including the police. After all, it is not their job, not what they are trained for. They are trained to kill and they do so, repeatedly.