Approximately one week before President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of controversial comments about Baltimore, in which he referred to it as a “very dangerous & filthy place,” the city’s new deputy police commissioner and his wife were robbed at gunpoint.
According to Fox Baltimore, police said two black males exited a white SUV that pulled up alongside deputy commissioner Daniel Murphy and his wife, who were on foot strolling the city on the night of July 19.
The two suspects displayed a firearm and demanded their victims’ property. After taking a purse, wallet, cash and cellphones, the two men, believed to be around 18-years-old, fled.
Murphy was hired as the deputy commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department’s compliance bureau earlier this year, Fox News reported.
The Trump-Baltimore controversy
In a two-day Twitter tirade this weekend, the president responded to Rep. Elijah Cummings, a black Maryland Democrat who represents much of the city, complaining at a July 18 congressional hearing about conditions at the U.S. southern border.
Trump alleged that conditions in Baltimore are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” while also calling the city a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
Liberals – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, MSNBC host Joy Reid and the Maryland chapter of the NAACP rushed to condemn the president as racist for his remarks.
.@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership. #ElijahCummingsIsAPatriot https://t.co/2LG8AuQrHh
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 27, 2019
Meanwhile, current Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young reacted to Trump by issuing a statement on Saturday in which he called Baltimore a “vibrant American City.”
In response, conservatives and Trump’s supporters have resurfaced negative remarks about Baltimore made by Democrats, liberals and even the city’s former mayor.
In a 2018 video, then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh echoed many of Trump’s sentiments. A Fox 45 segment broadcast last September shows Pugh, a black Democrat, touring an East Baltimore neighborhood with other city leaders.
“What the hell. We should just take all this shit down,” she can be heard saying of the surrounding slums. “Whoa, you can smell the rats. Whew, Jesus. Oh, my God, you can smell the dead animals.”
In May, The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story headlined “The Tragedy of Baltimore,” which details how in the wake of the 2015 riots, the city descended into “nothing less than a failure of order and governance the likes of which few American cities have seen in years.”