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Baltimore Cops Speak Out On Crime Surge: 'The People On Our Side Do Not Have Our Backs'

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Are the criminals winning? Some Baltimore City officers say the charges in the Freddie Gray case have made them less likely to make arrests---and they don't feel like police have the support of city leaders.

Investigator Mike Hellgren has new insight into whether criminals are feeling empowered on the streets.

We've heard that from officers and people in the community and Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said there is some confusion over when police should take people into custody, yet she still supports the commissioner.

After the riots, arrests are sharply down, violence has spiked and the comments two anonymous officers made to CNN about why that is are causing controversy.

"That the criminal element feels as though we aren't going to run the risk of chasing them if they're armed with a gun and they're using this opportunity to settle old beef or scores with people that they have conflict with," said one officer on CNN.

"I think there's an element on the street who feels validated after what happened, the unrest," said Councilman Brandon Scott.

Scott has been outspoken condemning violence against young people, including a 16-year-old killed in the area he represents.

"Specifically in my district, they want the police out there being aggressive," Scott said. "They want the police in their community.

"I think the public really, really sees that they asked for a softer, less aggressive police department and we've given them that and now they're realizing that their way of thinking does not work," an officer said on CNN. "The people on our side do not have our backs."

The mayor says those officers don't speak for everyone but admitted issues with taking people into custody post-Freddie Gray.

"There's some confusion about when is it appropriate to arrest," she said. "The issues that they raised are not new to me and they're not new to the commissioner."

Commissioner Anthony Batts has denied any slow-down and any suggestion his officers are not honoring their oat to serve and protect.

"These officers are good and I'm proud of them---but, at the same time, if there are issues that we step over the line, we have a Constitutional right to carry ourselves properly and I will hold us to that standard, too," Batts said.

There were 42 murders in Baltimore in the month of May and have been 12 so far this month.

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