Sometimes the past catches up with us. Which seemed to be the case with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who threw his hat into the ring as a Democratic contender for President in 2016.
Numerous reports confirm that the former Baltimore mayor, who announced his presidential ambitions in the beleaguered city on Saturday morning, had dozens of protestors holding signs including “F*ck the police,” “Stop killer cops,” and “NOMALLEY.” They also blew whistles while he spoke, and shouted out loudly, “You lie!” and “700,000 arrests under your watch, O’Malley!”
Even though O’Malley, 52, considers himself a left of center liberal (as Maryland governor he ended the death penalty, legalized same-sex marriage and passed the Dream Act,) and even more progressive than Hillary Clinton, many protestors think O’Malley actually made police and community relations during his tenure as Baltimore mayor.
And some have even made the connection between those policies (which in fact paid for his ride to the state house) and last month’s riots, spurred in part after the vicious death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police.
Critics say O’Malley’s “broken windows”-influenced crackdown on crime when he was mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, then Maryland’s governor until January of this year, worsened the decades-old tension between Baltimore police and the black community. On Tuesday O’Malley toured the damage from the riot following Freddie Gray’s funeral, but his attempt to demonstrate leadership only wound up drawing attention to his role in creating the conflict.
During his time as mayor O’Malley implemented a “zero tolerance” approach to policing and saw a dramatic reduction in crime. However, in 2010 the city paid $870,000 to settle a suit alleging that Baltimore police arrested thousands of people without probable cause during O’Malley’s tenure.
Tawanda Jones, 36, whose brother was killed blames O’Malley policies: “If he wants to come home, he must atone.” pic.twitter.com/5rryY11fSw
— Arelis R. Hernández (@arelisrhdz) May 30, 2015