No Democrat is having a harder time moving away from the tough-on-crime 90s than former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, whose potential presidential campaign has been plagued in the last week by questions over his policing policies as mayor of Baltimore. On Sunday, O'Malley continued to defend his record and said Baltimore would be the setting of his presidential campaign announcement if he decides to run.
"I wouldn't think of announcing anyplace else," O'Malley told NBC's Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday. "Baltimore, this has been a setback for us, Chuck, but our story is not over. We are not defeated as a city, and we are not about to throw in the towel on our country."
O'Malley served as mayor of Baltimore from 1999-2006, when he brought New York-style broken windows policy—in which officers enforce minor crimes to prevent more serious ones—to the city. Critics argue those policies led to the worsened relations between the community and the police that are evident in Baltimore today. Asked Sunday if the country got it wrong by turning towards broken windows policing, the presidential hopeful 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 told host Chuck Todd.
O'Malley pointed to a lack of economic investment in cities as 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."