MONSE Director and Police Commissioner Also Issue Statements on Notable Arrest

BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, May 20, 2021) — Mayor Brandon M. Scott issued the following statement on the arrest of Garrick Powell today in the January 2021 killing of violence interrupter Dante Barksdale of Safe Streets:

“Earlier this year, Dante Barksdale – the heart and soul of Baltimore – became a victim of the very gun violence he was determined to prevent. But thanks to the diligent work of the Baltimore Police Department, a suspect in Dante’s murder has now been apprehended. My friend Dante turned his life around by working tirelessly to keep Baltimore neighborhoods safe from gun violence. As an outreach coordinator for Safe Streets, Dante was persistently present in our toughest communities to engage young people and impart healthier approaches to solving conflict. He believed that everyone has value and a purpose, and this sentiment continues to shape my leadership approach as mayor. I remain committed to working with Commissioner Harrison to build a safer Baltimore and fulfill Dante’s hope for young people across the city.”

Shantay Jackson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement issued the following statement:

“Dante’s murder was a blow to Baltimore and the ongoing work of violence prevention. The identification of a suspect in Dante’s murder leaves MONSE and the Safe Streets family with mixed feelings – sadness about the conditions that result in conflicts leading to murder, and relief that old wounds can finally heal. We must continue to approach public safety through a public health lens and help young people find emotionally and behaviorally safe ways to address conflict.”

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released the following statement:

“I want to thank the hard working men and women of the Baltimore Police Department for their diligence in apprehending Garrick Powell for the murder of Dante Barksdale. Dante embodied a message of redemption and peace, and used his own experience as a living testimony for young people to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. I look forward to working with the State’s Attorney Office to ensure justice is served, and I remain committed to partnering with Mayor Scott and all of our communities to tackle gun violence in Baltimore.”