Tags: Baltimore Riots | Martin OMalley | baltimore | mayor | policing | governor

Martin O'Malley Defends Policing Record as Baltimore Mayor

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 06:23 PM

Martin O'Malley, who served two terms as Baltimore's mayor and two terms as Maryland governor, defended his record Thursday amid criticism that his crackdown on crime has fueled the bad feelings between police and black residents.

"This is a setback. It's one of our darkest days," O'Malley said of the rioting that has destroyed businesses and cars in the city in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of a spinal cord injury after being arrested earlier this month.

The NAACP, the ACLU and the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network all have been critical of O'Malley, who is expected to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

In an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," O'Malley said he never used the term "aggressive policing" when he was mayor, but simply tried to balance getting drug dealers off the street while allowing avenues for residents to make complaints about police officers.

"There are probably now a thousand mostly young, poor African-American men who did not die violent deaths in our city would have if we had continued at the trajectory and level of violent crime that we had before," O'Malley said.

O'Malley said he received 91 percent of the vote in his first mayoral election and 88 percent in the second.

"And I would not have become governor if those across the city had not voted for me twice for governor," he said.

He pointed to the sharp reduction in crime that Baltimore achieved under his leadership and said that more needs to be done. He said he was ahead of Clinton in calling for police body cameras to record what happens during arrests.

Tapper pointed out Republicans say that cities such as Baltimore are failing despite all the liberal policies mayors and governors like himself have enacted.

"The real conclusion we draw from Baltimore, from Charleston, from Ferguson and other places is that America is failing America," O'Malley said. "You cannot create an economy that treats people and labor and human beings as if they're worthless commodities. You cannot create pockets of unemployment and extreme poverty without creating extremely dangerous conditions."

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Martin O'Malley, who served two terms as Baltimore's mayor and two terms as Maryland governor, defended his record Thursday amid criticism that his crackdown on crime has fueled the bad feelings between police and black residents.
Martin OMalley, baltimore, mayor, policing, governor
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2015-23-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 06:23 PM
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