If you believe Maryland Del. Pat McDonough, don’t visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor because gangs of black teenagers are terrorizing tourists.
"Roving mobs of black youth are responsible for the attacks," said McDonough, a Republican state legislator. "This has been going on for years. I have a responsibility as an elected official to bring this to the public's attention."
And here’s the bombshell accusation that is long on fiction and short on facts: McDonough claims city and state officials are “covering up” crimes committed by black gangs at Inner Harbor. McDonough is calling for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings to convene a "summit" to address public safety concerns in Inner Harbor — or resign.
Thanks to McDonough, the issue of race in Baltimore is at the forefront of discussion with some black activists saying McDonough is race baiting, while his supporters say black teenagers have been allowed to run wild. The not-so-subtle implication by McDonough is that black teens are frightening white families who are visiting Inner Harbor, downtown Baltimore's flagship tourist spot.
"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,” Blake spokesman Ryan O'Doherty told reporters. “As an elected official, Del. McDonough should show more respect for the work our police officers do with the community to make Baltimore safer."
McDonough told reporters that he and his wife were recently driving through the Inner Harbor area when they witnessed "a mob of nearly 100 people "battling" in the middle of the street.
“It was a pretty frightening sight," he said. "People, retired police officers, have been calling me telling me this has been going on for a long time and the city and the mayor are covering it up." He said Gov. Martin O'Malley should send in Maryland State Police to patrol the Inner Harbor.
He also said the Inner Harbor area should also be declared a "no travel zone."
"The State Department does it all the time for people traveling to the Middle East and other areas," McDonough said. "People need to be alerted that there's a danger."
Rev. Cortly Witherspoon, a Baltimore minister, said McDonough should apologize for his comments. Witherspoon held a rally at City Hall this week with religious leaders, politicians and civil rights leaders to criticize McDonough.
"He is attempting to galvanize a right-wing conservative base," Witherspoon told reporters. "He is attempting to awaken a very dark side of the electorate in this state."
Civil rights leaders lined up to criticize McDonough.
"Mr. McDonough, you have given us a reason to come together to discuss your bigotry," said Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, former head of the city's NAACP chapter. "But more important is our children. They have to be our priority."
City officials said teen violence has been reduced by 37 percent over the previous two years, while also reducing juvenile arrests by 60 percent.
"Baltimore City has reduced crime by a greater percentage than any major city in American in the last 10 years," O'Malley said. "Pat should come and visit some time."
Last year, a black teenager was stabbed during a fight and more than 100 teenagers roamed the Inner Harbor area. And two years ago, business owners complained that 4,000 teenagers were hanging out in Inner Harbor. There were no fights, no arrests, and no rowdy behavior, according to news reports, but some businessmen complained because the crowd was mostly black.
Meanwhile, Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a black Baltimore Democrat, said McDonough’s comments were designed to start trouble.
"It's a throwback to the '50s and '60s, and it's obviously race-baiting," Mitchell said.
Mitchell has offered to take McDonough on a tour of the Inner Harbor area but, so far, McDonough has ignored the invitation.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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