A Baltimore County delegate wants to reduce the state's financial contribution to Baltimore City in protest of the city's multi-million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray this week.
Del. Pat McDonough said the state should cut $3 million from aid that goes to the city, which represents about 45 percent of the $6.4 million settlement the city will pay to Gray's family. The city gets 45 percent of its budget from the state, he said.
"I think we need to take some action. I think the whole thing is outrageous and it's questionable if it's even lawful or not," said McDonough, a Republican who represents Baltimore County and Harford County.
McDonough questioned why the city reached a settlement with Gray's family before any civil lawsuit had been filed in connection with Gray's death.
Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody in April. His death from those injuries led to a week of protests against police brutality. On the day of his funeral, the city saw rioting, looting and arson, leading Gov. Larry Hogan to call in the National Guard and for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to implement a weeklong citywide curfew.
This week, Baltimore's Board of Estimates approved a $6.4 million settlement with Gray's family to head off an anticipated civil lawsuit.
Del. Curt Anderson, a Democrat who leads the city's House delegation, said McDonough's idea of cutting aid to the city is ridiculous.
"It's just another stunt on his part to keep his name in the public eye," Anderson said.
Anderson doesn't expect McDonough to be successful if he follows through on his idea when the General Assembly convenes in January.
"Virtually every legislator knows Pat McDonough and his stunts and his grandstanding schemes. It would not be taken seriously," Anderson said.
McDonough has often been outspoken about issues in the city. For instance this summer, he suggested building a new horse-racing track in South Baltimore and moving the Preakness there.
He said he has a duty to be watchful for how money from taxpayers from across the state is spent in the city.
"Elected officials should not be standing idly as representatives for the people and let this happen without some kind of reaction," he said.
Six officers have been charged in connection with Gray's injury and death, with charges ranging from assault to second-degree murder. On Thursday, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams ruled that the officers' trials should stay in the city for now.