Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh: 'You can smell the rats'

Video footage of Mayor Catherine Pugh touring an East Baltimore neighborhood has gone viral after she is heard making some indelicate remarks.

The segment, which looks back on the mayor’s violence-reduction initiative rolled out last year, was filmed last week and aired this week on Fox 45.

In the footage, Pugh tours an area of vacant houses with city leaders and says: “What the hell? We should just take all this [expletive] down.”

And then:

“Whoa, you can smell the rats.”

“Whew, Jesus.”

“Oh, my God, you can smell the dead animals.”

A short clip from the segment has garnered nearly 1 million views on the Instagram account “The Shade Room.”

Commenters were divided in their response to the mayor’s words, some praising her candor, others asking what she planned to do about the city’s problems.

Others wanted to know why Pugh seemed so surprised to find such blight in the city she leads.

Said one: “There's no way she didn't know some parts of Baltimore looked like that.”

Through a spokesman, Mayor Pugh told The Baltimore Sun that the neglect and underinvestment in such neighborhoods have contributed directly to crime and violence.

“I walk the neighborhoods of our city regularly with my agency and department leaders, along with our police district commanders, to deal firsthand with the issues that undermine quality of life and rob our children of the future they deserve.”

ctkacik@baltsun.com

twitter.com/xtinatkacik

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