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In the Media: Rep. Elijah Cummings Will Run for Reelection; New Riot Gear for Baltimore Police

Baltimore police in riot gear during the protests in April.
Arash Azizzada /
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Baltimore police in riot gear during the protests in April.

A digest of news and stories about Baltimore from local sources.

From The AFRO-American: Rep. Elijah Cummings Says He is Running For Reelection

“In response to speculation about whether he would vie for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s Maryland seat, Rep. Elijah Cummings released a statement ahead of a speaking engagement at Coppin State University in West Baltimore saying that he was running for reelection on Sept. 14.

On Sept. 11 The AFRO reported that Jamal Bryant, a well-known pastor and civil rights activist in West Baltimore, was considering running for Cummings’ seat. On Sept. 14 Bryant officially announced that he would take on Cummings in the upcoming election.

Earlier this summer rumors began circulating that Cummings was going to run for Mikulski’s seat after he hired Ashley Martens, a Senate campaign fundraiser. Though Cummings had not officially released plans for the upcoming elections this was seen as a sign that he would be going for the soon to be vacant seat.”

Full Article

From The Washington Post: Cummings Not Caught Off Guard by Bryant's Bid

Cummings made the following statements on Monday, following Jamal Bryant's announcement to run for Congress.

“I have been simply overwhelmed today by telephone calls and emails from my constituents. It's made me kind of emotional. I did not know that I have the kind of support that I have. I have been truly honored to serve the people of Baltimore and Howard County and Baltimore County for a number of years. Anyone who is assuming that I will not run the Congress of the United States, I would say to them that those assumptions are definitely premature. I have a time schedule which I go by with regards to my campaign. We will adhere to that schedule, nothing has changed, and we will make an announcement shortly with regard to exactly what I will be doing.” 

Watch Cummings' complete statement 

From The Baltimore Sun: Mayor Seeks to Remove ‘Interim’ from Police Commissioner Davis

"Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Monday that she wants to offer Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis a multiyear contract to lead the department, a move that could put taxpayers on the hook for thousands of dollars in severance if the city's next mayor chooses to replace him.

Rawlings-Blake said Davis — named to the interim post in July — has quickly proved he has a good rapport with rank-and-file officers and law enforcement officials around the state. Those relationships will be key as the city prepares for the trials of the six officers involved in Freddie Gray's arrest and death.

Rawlings-Blake announced last week that she will leave office when her term ends in 15 months. She said on Monday that the next mayor could remove Davis 'for any reason or no reason" but that offering Davis a contract that extends beyond her term "ensures that he's able to focus on moving the city forward.'

And, she added, the proposed arrangement 'doesn't mean that I couldn't make changes in the next 15 months if I saw fit.'”

Full Article

From WBAL TV: Baltimore City Police Train in New Riot Gear

"Police tell the 11 News I-Team that the new riot gear is dramatically different from what they relied on during April's violence in Baltimore.

While they're hoping not to use the new equipment, they said they will to protect citizens and themselves if civil unrest breaks out again.

This comes from lessons learned during the April unrest. Police said the gear they had was inadequate and now they are confident the new equipment offers better protections.

'We put the helmet on first, because we teach you are just one brick away from losing command on your line and the helmet itself is our most vital piece of gear we have out there,' said Detective Robert Himes, Baltimore City police instructor. 

'This is a lot more up-to-date, better gear, because the times have changed since the last gear that we did have and this does make the confidence of officers' skyrocket right now from gear we did have in April,' Himes said.

An outer shell safeguards legs and feet, a vest protects the chest, back and upper arms.

'It's like wearing football uniform for 8 to 12 hours with a lot more padding on it,' Himes said.

It includes a gas mask and the new shields police say are larger and more durable. They also said the equipment is designed so an officer can perform duties as needed.

Police said about 90 percent of their officers are outfitted with and trained in the new gear."

Watch at WBAL

From The Capital Gazette: Medical Marijuana Ban Runs into Doubts

"After weeks of contemplating how Anne Arundel would implement state law allowing the growing, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana, County Executive Steve Schuh is proposing to ban it all together.

That's not sitting well with some council members — just hours after he unveiled his proposal.

Schuh announced Monday he will introduce a bill that would prohibit medical marijuana operations in the county.

The legislation would eliminate the growing, processing and sale of medical marijuana in Anne Arundel County. It removes marijuana and medical marijuana from the county's farming provision and prohibits the processing and sale of marijuana in commercial, industrial, maritime and residential districts.

Growing and processing medical marijuana would be allowed under the farming provisions of the current county code, which officials said allows it pretty much anywhere."

Full Article

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