In the Media: Pastor Jamal Bryant Runs for Congress; O'Malley Reveals Gun Violence Prevention Plan
A digest of news and stories about Baltimore.
From The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant Will Run for Congress
"West Baltimore pastor Jamal Harrison Bryant announced Monday he will run for Congress — seeking the seat held by Rep. Elijah Cummings.
'After the Freddie Gray uprising, the proliferation of police brutality across this nation, the lack of jobs, widespread poverty and hopelessness throughout our urban areas, I decided that leading a successful congregation and building a great church is not enough," Bryant said in a statement. "I want to contribute to public policy in Washington.'
Cummings hasn't set forth a plan for 2016 yet, but he is considering a run for Senate. He's served in Congress since 1996, representing about half of Baltimore and portions of Howard County. A spokesperson for Cummings did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bryant has become a constant voice in Baltimore in the weeks and months following Freddie Gray's death, often appearing with city leaders, but also leading protests — including a unique, rush-hour traffic-halting demonstration on a main roadway into Baltimore — amid the city's unrest."
From WBAL TV: Sheila Dixon Kicks off Campaign for Mayor
"Shelia Dixon officially kicked off her mayoral campaign Sunday, and she's hoping to convince voters to put her back in office.
Dixon was mayor from 2007 to 2010 before resigning as part of a plea agreement after being found guilty on one misdemeanor count of fraudulent misappropriation. Dixon received probation after the conviction, which stemmed in large part from charges that she misappropriated gift cards intended for the poor. She also served 500 hours of community service and donated $45,000 to two HIV charities.
She wants voters to give her a second shot at running the city, saying voters can have confidence in who she is and what she can do.
Crime was a major issue when Dixon ran in 2007, with the homicide rate that was on pace to top 300. She endorsed community policing, and, as mayor, she belonged to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.
In the wake of this weekend's multiple homicides and shootings, Dixon said she has what it takes to stop the violence.
'We were targeting the most violent offenders; getting our police officers out of the cars, into the community, getting to know the neighbors, getting to know those communities they represent; getting illegal guns off of the street through our gun registry. So I have a track record of reducing the crime,' Dixon said."
From WMUR in New Hampshire: O’Malley Reveals Gun Violence Prevention Plan
"Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley calls for universal background checks, fingerprint licensing for gun purchases and a rejection of federally mandated concealed carry in a plan he says will 'prevent and reduce' gun violence.
His plan, to be unveiled at a gun safety roundtable at Boys and Girls Harbor in New York City, would also ban 'assault weapons' and close loopholes he says currently make women vulnerable to gun violence.
'Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens,' the former Maryland governor’s presidential campaign says in a memo outlining the plan, obtained exclusively by WMUR.com.
'These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents. They are part of a full-blown and entirely preventable epidemic.
'We cannot afford to sit by and let this constant heartbreak become the norm. As a nation, it is time for sensible gun safety laws that save lives,' the O’Malley campaign says."
From The Baltimore Sun: Federal Judge Sides with Annapolis in Racial Discrimination Case
"A federal lawsuit has been decided in the favor of Annapolis in which three former and one current Annapolis Police Department officers said their employer had racially discriminated against them.
In a summary judgment, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz wrote the city proved facts in the case were strong enough to warrant not going to trial.
'On each of their claims, plaintiffs fail to cite admissible evidence to oppose the city's motion for summary judgment,' Motz wrote.
The judgment could end a two-year long case in which three former officers, the late Shelley White, Carl Bouie and Floyd Carson and current officer James Spearman claimed the Annapolis Police Department racially discriminated and retaliated against them.
In their federal discrimination complaint, Bouie and White allege 'white officers receive little, if any, sanctions for improper conduct, while African-American officers are frequently targeted for harsh outcomes for even minor events.'
They also allege African-American officers were passed over for promotions.
The plaintiffs in the federal case are still considering an appeal, which would be filed in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. Baltimore attorney Neil Duke, who had been representing the plaintiffs, said those discussions were ongoing. He wouldn't comment on the specifics of the case."