Tags: Law Enforcement | martin omalley | baltimore | maryland | police | doj

O'Malley: Scathing DOJ Record Did Not Include My Police Reforms

(MSNBC)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016 02:57 PM

Former Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley Wednesday said a scathing Department of Justice critique of the "zero tolerance" policies he had adopted while in office did not take into account the period before 2010, when his administration took actions to improve police department discipline.

"I wish that they would look at the period before that," O'Malley, who went on to become Maryland's governor, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "You cannot improve the effectiveness of policing in the United States of America without also taking actions to improve the policing of our police, the discipline of our police, the training and the recruitment. Those were all things that we did during my time."

The report was unveiled just after Malley's appearance on the program. The investigation was launched after the death of Freddie Gray, and blames policies O'Malley championed while he was mayor in the late 1990s for more aggressive policing. His policies generated a higher rate of arrests for "quality of life" crimes which are blamed for some of the stress between the community and the city's police department.

"As you might imagine,  in 1999, the population was majority African-American, and I was also white then as I am now," O'Malley told the morning program. "There was not a day that went by when we did not talk about how we would save lives in our poorest neighborhoods, where, by the way, people were being victimized and dying in record numbers."

The report points out 108,000 people were arrested in 2005, mostly for nonviolent offenses, reports The Baltimore Sun. O'Malley held office from 1999 through January 2007, and told the Morning Joe program that while he was mayor, steps were taken to improve the diversity of the police force, to order better supervision of officers, and raise officers' pay.

The process to improve community relations is complicated, said O'Malley.

"Five percent of your force should be dedicated to internal affairs," he told the program. "You should have a civilian review board. These were all things that cities that were successful in reducing crime and building up trust did. In my own time as mayor, we drove down police-involved shootings, in fact, fatal police-involved shootings, to three of their four lowest years in modern times."

O'Malley, who had been a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year, also addressed the ongoing controversy concerning GOP nominee Donald Trump and his call for Second Amendment supporter to stop Democratic rival nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I think what's fair to say is that there's deep anger and a lot of alienation in our country, both in the Democrat Party and the Republican Party and independents," O'Malley said. "I never dreamed that during my time in running for president that I would feel compelled to have to call out the fascist appeals of another person running for president of the United States."

He also said he did not imagine that there would come a time that prominent Republicans would be endorsing Clinton. In retrospect, O'Malley continued, he probably should have spent more time recognizing how angry and frustrated American voters are feeling.

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Former Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley Wednesday said a scathing Department of Justice critique of the "zero tolerance" policies he had adopted while in office did not take into account the period before 2010, when his administration took actions to improve police department discipline.
martin omalley, baltimore, maryland, police, doj
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2016-57-10
Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016 02:57 PM
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