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Mayor of Baltimore fires Police Commissioner Anthony Batts

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Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts (C) speaks at a press conference regarding the death of Freddie Gray on April 30, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. It was announced that the van carrying Gray had stopped a second, previously undisclosed, time. Baltimore has seen days of rioting since Gray's death while in police custody.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, seen in April, was fired Wednesday by Baltimore’s mayor. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

Rawlings-Blake announced the firing in a news release Wednesday afternoon. She said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner.

Rawlings did not give a reason, but the move comes amid a spike in the city’s homicide rate.

Baltimore was rocked with civil unrest in April after black resident Freddie Gray died one week after suffering a critical spinal injury in police custody. Six police officers have been criminally charged in Gray’s death.

Since the rioting stopped, the city has seen a sharp increase in violence, with 155 homicides this year, a 48 percent increase over the same period last year.