Baltimore mayor tweets she is 'well aware' of Baltimore police corruption trial, expands on prior statement

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she has not had time to closely follow testimony in the trial of two police officers that has raised questions about how widespread corruption has spread through the department.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released a statement after midnight Thursday to clarify that she is “well aware” of the corruption trial involving her city’s police department, expanding upon comments she made during a news briefing Wednesday morning.

“Be assured, we are addressing the culture and practices of the Baltimore Police Department in a way that will engender the highest level of trust and confidence our citizens want and need in those who are sworn to protect and defend,” Pugh tweeted from her account at 12:26 a.m.


In a statement attached to the tweet, Pugh said she felt her comments from Wednesday morning had “been further distorted.”

The trial involving members of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force continues Thursday, with closing arguments ongoing. A verdict is anticipated either Thursday or early next week.

Asked at a news conference Wednesday if she’d been following the trial, Pugh first said, “No I have not.”

“I have to run the city, I don’t have time to sit in a trial,” she said.

Asked if she’d read about the case, which has been covered extensively in The Baltimore Sun, on television and by some national media, or been briefed on it, Pugh said she hadn’t.

“I don’t even get a chance to read all the articles you write,” the mayor told a reporter. “I don’t have time to just read articles.”

But Pugh said she had heard about some of the testimony and was surprised by it.

“We do hear some of the testimony that is taking place and I think anybody … would be surprised by some of the accusations that were made,” she said.

Pugh said she is confident that the process of complying with a federal civil rights decree and anti-corruption efforts by Darryl De Sousa, her new police commissioner, will be able to restore the public’s trust in the department.

“The reason we have a consent decree is because of some of the activities that have been portrayed by a few members of our police department,” Pugh said. “The majority of our police department go to work every day to protect the citizens of Baltimore.”