By Peter Hermann
9:03 AM EDT, May 22, 2012
The delegate from the city's northern suburbs is sounding off again about Baltimore crime, calling for the mayor to resign unless she convenes a "solutions summit" and demanding a "citywide curfew" be put in place.
Of course, the city already has a curfew, and a curfew center, which not only holds wayward youth but links staff with parents to determine why the children are out later than allowed. The Sun's police reporter, Justin Fenton, visited the center back in August.
The delegate, Patrick L. McDonough, a Republican from Harford and Baltimore counties, is holding yet another news conference today -- this time in Essex -- to further complain about youth violence in Baltimore's downtown. It comes after reports of a St. Patrick's Day disturbance that involved hundreds of fighting youths on the night of March 17.
Here is what he has to say:
"The mayor is playing a dangerous game with the lives of innocent people. The violent incidents in the greater harbor area is only one symptom of youth street violence in Baltimore. It is becoming clear that beyond the usual hooligans, organized gangs are leaving their turf and joining in the criminal activities. ... The ‘inconvenient truth’ can sometimes cause controversy, but it is absolutely necessary to make a positive change. Some may call it a ‘publicity stunt,’ but publicity is what is needed to solve this problem. Baltimore will overcome crime or crime will overcome Baltimore.”
There have been other attacks, including the videotaped beating of a tourists who was robbed and stripped naked outside the courthouse and a beating of a high school student on Fayette Street by teens from a rival school.
But McDonough's comments warning of a "black youth mobs" and wanting to declare the Inner Harbor a "no travel zone" have irked local leaders. The mayor's office is declining to comment on McDonough's latest statements, but last week called them a "race baiting publicity stunt."
The mayor's office declined to comment on McDonough's latest comments, saying they're not worth taking serioiusly. Ministers are expected to rally later Tuesday outside City Hall, denouncing McDonough's comments as racist. And city leaders add that his call for a curfew has already been heeded, long before, and a mayoral spokesman calls it a model for other cities around the country.
McDonough warns of "black youth mobs"
Baltimore Sun editorial on McDonough
St. Patrick's Day violence exceeded intial reports (listen to police dispatch tapes)
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