A convicted murderer-turned-community activist in Baltimore has a radical approach to combating the city’s stunning murder rate: Pay criminals not to kill.
The controversial idea comes from Tyree Moorehead, who was 15 when he was put away for second-degree murder and spent 18 years behind bars, Fox 45 reported.
“I can relate to the shooters,” said the activist, who now transforms scenes of deadly shootings into so-called “no-shoot zones.” “Guess what they want? They want money.”
Baltimore has been wracked by violent crime in recent years, closing out 2020 with 335 homicides, according to statistics from the Baltimore Sun. In 2019, there were 348 murders.
“I’ve talked to these people. I’ve seen the shooters. It’s a small city, I know who the hustlers are,” Moorehead said.
A similar strategy has been used before in Richmond, California, one of the most dangerous cities in the country, which paid criminals up to $1,000 a month, as well as provided counseling and job help, NPR reported in 2016.
The suburb of Oakland saw its murder rate cut in half, the station said.
Former Baltimore police spokesman TJ Smith agreed that a creative approach is needed to thwart the violence in the city — but said cash is not the answer.
“It could make it easier for people to get their hands on guns because they now have an influx of a different level of cash,” he told Fox 45.