Baltimore ‘Safe Streets’ director Dante Barksdale fatally shot in the head while visiting housing project

News & Politics

Dante Barksdale, an anti-gun violence activist who worked as the director of Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, is dead after being shot in the head.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Safe Streets outreach workers “mediate disputes in the hopes of de-escalating conflicts.”

“They also lead public education campaigns and work closely with faith-based organizers and community members — and explicitly not with police — to steer young people away from violence,” the paper reports “The program has been hailed as one of the city’s most effective crime-fighting tools.”

What are the details?

According to a Monday report from the New York Post, Barksdale was visiting a local public housing project when an as-yet unidentified gunman opened fire and struck him in the head.

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Barksdale, who worked as the director for the city’s Safe Streets campaign for more than a decade, was rushed to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital early Sunday morning, where officials pronounced him dead.

The Baltimore Sun also reported that Barksdale a few weeks earlier had delivered winter coats to families at the very same housing project where he lost his life.

A police spokesperson told the Post, “The investigation is ongoing and we have no further updates to provide at this time.”

In a statement, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said that Barksdale was the “heart and soul” of the Safe Streets program and that the tragic news broke his heart.

“[Barksdale’s] death is a major loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve, and the entire city of Baltimore,” he said. “Dante’s work saved lives. This is a sobering reminder of how dangerous this frontline work is.”

He added, “I will not let those who chose to violently take his life dampen the light of his work.”

James Timpson, a former program leader, said, “His life was dedicated to preventing this type of stuff from happening. Nobody can believe that this happened.”

Any people with information on the shooting are encouraged to call police at (410) 396-2100.

Michael Harrison, Baltimore’s police commissioner, said that Barksdale’s work was instrumental to spreading a message of hope in the community.

“His work in outreach, mediating conflicts and reducing gun violence in our city was invaluable and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the many young people of our city,” Harrison said.

City Council President Nick J. Mosby said that Barksdale — an “exceptional man” — was a personal friend.

“For the last decade, Dante Barksdale used his life to save others by preventing gun violence on our streets and confronting Baltimore’s horrendous cycle of violence that traumatizes families and entire communities,” Mosby said. “And he beat a myriad of odds to do it. … He had an outsized impact on Safe Streets through his masterful conflict mediation skills, the passion he demonstrated in his commitment to peace and his steady presence in reducing crime on behalf of this city he absolutely loved.”

You can watch a
video report on Barksdale’s untimely death below.


Safe Streets director killed in Baltimore shooting

www.youtube.com

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13 Comments

  1. What was the gentleman doing in the ‘projects’ late night Saturday, , early Sunday morning ?
    In the first place ?

  2. Well I guess this validates the saying that bringing a pencil to a gunfight is about as dumb as bringing a knife to a gunfight. I wonder how many more will die before they allow the LE do their job. Here is an idea how about the ones who thought up this idea be the first to go out and show us how it is to be done. They won’t because they know it is too dangerous for them to do.

  3. Another act of white supremacy. Musta’ve been a conservative neo-Nazzie skin head supremacist all hot and bothered that black folks are getting free winter coats so he went and hid in the projects during the wee hours waiting for his chance to kill the guy responsible and stir up trouble. Because, you know, none of those nice, law-abiding young black choir boys have access to weapons in gun-free cities. Only white boys do. Part of their privilege. Yeah, THAT’S the ticket!

  4. So will those same faith-based organizers and community members — and explicitly not the police — who are so effective in reducing the murder rate in MurderMore be the ones investigating this murder?

  5. So sad… Another “Good Man” murdered in the Projects he was determined to help! So, once again, the call for MORE (useless) Gun Control, to mitigate the people who are murdering their neighbors! When will these dummies learn that the GUN was not the CAUSE of this, but just the chosen TOOL used? It takes a HUMAN HAND to hold a gun, and a Human Finger to PULL A TRIGGER! GUNS DO NOT SHOOT THEMSELVES! Stupid is as stupid does! I pray for our nation, and the lost souls who are so misled…

  6. This is a tragedy that this guy got killed, but what do you expect? These are criminal gang members, and killing someone earns them their teardrop. You don’t fight hardened crime with peace and flowers, evil force is only defeated by more overpowering force. Either Gang B wipes out Gang A (usually by killing them), or law enforcement wipes out Gang A by putting them all in prison. That is where any real “rehabilitation”, if any, occurs. You don’t convince a drug slinger making $1500/day to give it all up for an “honest” $75/day job by appealing to his humanity and good intentions. These people are either fools or figured out a great way to scam the city out of $100k/year (or most likely both).

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