Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was fired on Wednesday following criticism of his handling of rioting over the death of a black man from an injury in police custody and a skyrocketing homicide rate.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the focus on Batts and the leadership of the 2,500-officer force had become a distraction in fighting resurgent crime and was hurting her goal of attracting families to the city.
"As we have seen in recent weeks, many continue to die. Families are tired of feeling the pain, and so am I," she told a City Hall news conference.
Batts' firing came after three people were shot dead overnight and another was killed on Wednesday, violence cited by the mayor at her news conference.