Wadell Tate, a 97-year-old war veteran called “Pop Pop” by his children, was beaten to death while wearing pajamas in the Baltimore home he’d owned since 1956. Tate is one of the oldest murder victims in decades, the Washington Post reports. Baltimore has suffered 211 murders this year, and on Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Pugh released her plan to address crime in the city.
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Pugh’s plan comes weeks too late for Tate, who was murdered on July 21st during an apparent break-in. His body was discovered by one of his daughters, Carolyn Brooks, who rushed to her father’s home when he didn’t answer the phone. Tate’s children had been begging him to move out of the neighborhood since their mother, Mary Ruth, died four years ago. The Tates had been one of the first African American families to own a home in Darley Park when they purchased a rowhouse in 1956. Tate watched the neighborhood decline over the years, sometimes watching addicts stumble by with Joseph Cuffie, a 79-year-old neighbor who helped him take his daily walks.
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Tate grew up in the segregated South, then joined the Army and served in Germany during World War II. After the war, he worked at a Baltimore refinery until it closed in 1975. His was one of thousands of lost factory jobs that, along with white flight and the city’s response to the 1968 uprising, contributed to his neighborhood’s decline. Tate’s children plan to sell their childhood home when they settle his affairs.
SOURCE: Washington Post