O’Malley, If He Runs, Would Announce Candidacy in Baltimore

(Bloomberg News/TNS) -

No Democrat is having a harder time moving away from the tough-on-crime ‘90s than former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a possible Democratic presidential candidate who was plagued in the past week by questions over his policing policies when he was mayor of Baltimore.

On Sunday, O’Malley continued to defend his record and said Baltimore would be the setting of his campaign announcement if he decides to run.

“I wouldn’t think of announcing anyplace else,” O’Malley said on NBC “We are not defeated as a city, and we are not about to throw in the towel on our country.”

O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2006, when he brought the New York-style broken-window policy — under which police make arrests for minor crimes to prevent more serious ones — to the city. Critics argue that the policy led to the worsened relations between the community and the police.

Asked Sunday if the country got it wrong by turning towards broken-window policing, O’Mlley tried to both defend the strategy and acknowledge its weak points.

“We didn’t get it wrong then but we have yet to get it entirely right,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley said a lack of economic investment in cities is part of the problem. “We need an agenda for American cities,” he said. “We need to stop ignoring especially people of color and act like they’re disposable citizens in this nation.”