It almost seems like we’re picking on Baltimore in retaliation for the Freddie Gray riots, but May’s crime statistics are real and flat-out astounding. The city has witnessed 40 homicides in just 30 days, and there’s still a weekend to go in May.

Many have noted that while the crime rate has skyrocketed, arrests have been cut in half. The president of Baltimore’s police union released a statement this week arguing that criminals are taking advantage of the political atmosphere in the city since the Freddie Gray riots: “Criminals feel empowered now. There is no respect. Police are under siege in every quarter. They are more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty.”

A powerful piece published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal and picked up by calls this “the Ferguson effect” and argues that not only are the true victims the inner-city poor, but that the increase in violent crime is all part of the plan.

Writer Heather Mac Donald writes that there’s much more to the story than Baltimore.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% … Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.

Murders in Atlanta were up 32%… Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%. …

Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.

Breitbart’s John Nolte argues that President Obama is working hand-in-hand with the likes of Al Sharpton and CNN to “launch hate campaigns against the police. The result is an empowered criminal element and by extension a horrific increase in murders, shootings, and other violent crimes.” For what possible reason? “Keep ‘em down. Keep ‘em angry. Pretend you are their savior not their oppressor, and keep ‘em voting for the very thing destroying them: big government and the Democrats who control it.”