In accordance with full disclosure, Maryland state legislator Pat McDonough is my fellow talk-radio host on WCBM in Baltimore and was one of my two Election Day guests.
On May 18, Del. McDonough called a news conference and issued a press release revealing that he had written a letter to Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley: “requesting the possible assistance of the Maryland State Police to work with the Baltimore City Police Department in order to prevent the consistent and dangerous attacks upon citizens by roving mobs of black youths. St. Patrick’s Day witnessed another out-of-control incident involving hundreds of young people in a mob-like posture, fighting among themselves, and attacking innocent tourists and visitors to the Harbor Area.
“A number of the members of these roving mobs attacked a tourist from Virginia, knocking him out, beating him, and stealing his clothing and other valuables. This scary event was covered on video and went global, becoming a sensation, and seriously tarnishing Baltimore’s image.
“Last year, a young man was murdered and a 6-year-old child was shot in the leg. This violence has been occurring on a regular basis.
“The mayor and the Baltimore City Police Department have failed to prepare adequate plans and actions to protect public safety. Frankly, the entire dangerous series of criminal activity has been covered up.
“The image of Baltimore is suffering; perhaps beyond redemption. The revenue generated by Baltimore’s magnificent harbor is being challenged and harmed. Decent folks, who work in the harbor area, live there, or just visit, should not be subjected to this type of reckless brutality.
“There are even reports that some of these assaults may be racial in nature. This is not a time to cover up or abandon the good people in order to protect a false image of a city in chaos.
“Finally, I would request that the governor not only render assistance from the Maryland State Police, but declare the harbor area as a ‘no travel zone’ until the mayor can guarantee the safety of our fellow citizens.”
This led the Baltimore Sun’s editorial page to publish an unbelievably furious denunciation, in which they cited the following:
- “The bluster and bombast” of McDonough “a self-promoting bomb-thrower” with a “career built on angry sound bites and finger-pointing, particularly at minority groups …”
- “[H]is actual legislative accomplishments in Annapolis can be contained in a thimble – with room to spare.”
- “[H]is latest bloviation demands attention – if only because ignoring it might suggest it was excusable (which it was not) or something other than blatant racism (which it was).”
- “That those involved in the St. Patrick’s Day incidents at the Inner Harbor were black is no more pertinent than their height, weight or eye color.” (Do any of this nation’s black powerists – nationwide or in Maryland – agree with this Sun contention that race is impertinent?)
- “[A]n irresponsible politician itching to exaggerate the extent of the threat and give people the false impression that the Inner Harbor is especially unsafe – no matter that the facts (and falling city crime rate) don’t support that view.” (On Jan. 3 of this year, this very same Baltimore Sun reported: “The city remains one of the most violent in the nation, and that is nothing to celebrate. Nonetheless, dropping below 200 murders a year – to a tally of 196 homicides in 2011 – is at the same time a triumph and a tragedy.”)
From the mayor of Baltimore’s spokesman, Ryan O’Doherty, came the following statement:
“Del. McDonough’s sad and racially charged publicity stunt is not deserving of a response, and Mayor Rawlings-Blake is proud of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department for reducing crime to historic lows. As an elected official, Del. McDonough should show more respect for the work our police officers do with the community every day to make Baltimore safer.”
Gov. O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, dismissed McDonough’s suggestions, saying Baltimore had cut its crime rate more than any American city of comparable size.
“Del. McDonough should come and visit sometime,” the governor said. “He might enjoy it.”
Nevertheless, there were signs that McDonough’s comments were resonating outside Baltimore. The Drudge Report, a well-known conservative news website, carried his remarks to a national audience.
Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Hermann wrote the following:
“On St. Patrick’s Day, police confronted a downtown mob larger and more violent than previously experienced. Public reports by police in March about that volatile night did not fully relate the scope of what’s described on dispatch tapes obtained by the Baltimore Sun, when 500 youths converged, resulting in more than a dozen fights, up to three stabbings and one man left unconscious.”
In 1993, 353 people were killed on Baltimore city streets, accounting for the all-time high. The 1990s would conclude with 10 consecutive years of 300 or more killings. In contrast, last year the city recorded fewer than 200 killings.
WND’s Colin Flaherty reported that Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, described the episode as “a bar brawl,” and the Baltimore Sun suggested that violence at the Inner Harbor was part of an “Easter tradition” of “kids milling around.”
“After the beating, police commissioner Frederick Bealefeld told reporters that the violence was an isolated incident, not racially motivated, and that only about 100 people were involved. But two months later, reporters from the Baltimore Sun listened to the audio tapes of police dispatchers and discovered that there were at least five times more people involved and much more violence, including previously unreported stabbings and beatings.
“And according to witnesses and video accounts, all the perpetrators were black.
“McDonough’s ‘aha’ moment came two months ago when he and his wife were in the area for a charity fundraising dinner.
“‘This was a Wednesday night,’ he said. ‘And when I stopped at the traffic light, I saw 100 young black people in the next block over fighting and walking down the middle of the street. There were no police around. No police reports. And no stories in the paper. Violence and mayhem among young black people in the Inner Harbor is the new norm,’ said McDonough. ‘And this has to stop.’”