Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that she has replaced Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, citing "utmost urgency" to stop a recent surge in violence. "We cannot grow Baltimore without making our city a safer place to live," Rawlings-Blake said at a press conference at City Hall. "We need a change. This was not an easy decision, but it is one that is in the best interest of the people of Baltimore. The people of Baltimore deserve better."
Rawlings-Blake named Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis interim commissioner, effective immediately. Rawlings-Blake's decision came hours after she lashed out at the city's police union for for its highly critical report of the Police Department leadership during last month's rioting.