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McDonough: Inner Harbor Terrorized by 'Black Youth Mobs'

Baltimore County Republican calls for State Police patrols and to declare tourist area "a no travel zone."

The Inner Harbor area of Baltimore City is being terrorized by "black youth mobs" and city and state officials are "covering it up," according to one Baltimore County Republican.

"This has been going on for years," said Del. Pat McDonough, a Middle River Republican who also represents part of Harford County.

"I have a responsibility as an elected official to bring this to the public's attention," the delegate said, adding that "roving mobs of black youth are responsible for the attacks."

A spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declined to comment directly to McDonough's remarks.

"Del. McDonough's sad and racially-charged publicity stunt is not deserving of a response and Mayor Rawlings-Blake is proud of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department for reducing crime to historic lows.  As an elected official, Del. McDonough should show more respect for the work our police officers do with the community to make Baltimore safer," spokesman Ryan O'Doherty wrote in an email. 

McDonough said he and his wife were recently driving through the Inner Harbor area when they witnessed "a mob of nearly 100 people "battling" in the middle of the street. It was a pretty frightening sight."

McDonough cited recent violent episodes in the city including shootings during New Years Eve celebrations and beating of a man on St. Patrick's Day as evidence that the city is a dangerous place to visit.

"People, retired police officers, have been calling me telling me this has been going on for a long time and the city and the mayor are covering it up," McDonough said, adding that he believes Gov. Martin O'Malley should send in Maryland State Police to assist in patrolling the Inner Harbor area.

He also said the area should be declared a "no travel zone."

"The State Department does it all the time for people traveling to the Middle East and other areas," McDonough said. "People need to be alerted that there's a danger."

Rawlings-Blake's administration objected to McDonough's assertion that it was covering up crime downtown. In January the mayor, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso and Baltimore police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III held a press conference heralding the city's achievement in reducing juvenile violence.

According to a news release, last year the city reduced youth violence by 37 percent over the previous two years, while reducing juvenile arrests by 60 percent in the same time period. 

McDonough's use of the term "black youth mob" in interviews and a press release emailed Wednesday has drawn attention because of racial overtones. The delegate was questioned about his word choice Thursday morning on WBAL 1090 AM.

"If this was a bunch of skinheads doing this the reports would say it's a bunch of white skinheads," McDonough said in an interview with Patch. "I could have said Chinese youth but that would have been inaccurate. That would be dishonest."

"People are preoccupied with race," McDonough said. "They are not preoccupied with public safety."

McDonough said there have been other incidents involving mobs of white youth in the Fells Point and Canton areas of the city.

When asked why he didn't put out a press release decrying youth violence in general, McDonough said: "Those incidents were a rarity."

McDonough criticized Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as being more interested in promoting the Baltimore Grand Prix than dealing with the issue of youth violence.

"If she would dedicate that energy and resources to youth outreach, community centers and better intelligence tools for police, I think the city would be a lot safer," McDonough said.

O'Malley Friday downplayed McDonough's comments and said the city is safer.

"Baltimore City has reduced crime by a greater percentage than any major city in America in the last 10 years," O'Malley said. "Pat should come and visit some time."

1ke June 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
JD1, people who mind their own business and use sound judgment in cities or anywhere else usually--but not always--live, safe, fairly comfortable lives. Pathology, as you term the consequences of the yawning gap between rich and poor in Amercia (wink, wink), is not isolated to cities, which have deteriorated to sub-third-world condition. Festering? Come on, pal. From what I am reading, that means that black people moved down the block from you or went "Boo!"--and, yes, the racist mindset that festered within your family carried couldn't hack it. There are other pathologies out there, sir: materialistic anomie, drug and alcohol addiction, chronic depression. Funny how these little painful bumps in your Happy Valley Highway are aggravated by poverty, which is the same in West Virginia as it is in East Baltimore. Good luck to you and your family. I raised three boys to healthy adulthood in Baltimore and they are wiser and less judgmental, but none the worse for the experience. You have called me an idiot on several occasions. Would you sauce it up a little? You don't exactly sound like a Nobel winner when you repeat the same insults. Pardner.
Escariot June 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
What is the difference between "racist mindset" and facts to you Ike? When examining poverty, the 70% percent of african american babies being born into wedlock has serious signifigance. Does that make everyone racist that mentions it as a peer reviewed criteria for poverty? I hunt in west virginia Ike. I do not worry about my safety when we rent houses and do business with people down there because of there socioeconomic condition, which is the worst in the united states. Behavior has a component of accountability to it Ike. Maybe someday african americans will quit voting for politicians that take advantage of them financially in the forms of entitlements and teachers unions that have destroyed the public school education. It is like Einstein stated about repeating the same action and expecting a different result. By the way Ike, when you mention the "gap" between the rich and the poor you neglect to mention that the poor are a little more than 20 percent better off in finances and assests as they were over 20 years ago. So yes Ike, the rich got richer, but the poorer also get better off financially.
JD1 June 03, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Sorry - wrong again IDIOT. I live in an awesome and diverse neighborhood filled with hard working and respectable people. Most like me here in Happy Valley scramble paycheck to paycheck. We have HUD homes on our block with great families that are fully taking advantage of the chance to improve their situation in life. My kids baby sit for them and I tutor their kids who are working hard and value the education they are getting. They despise the scum that they see on the news that make them look bad. I reassure them that people who matter dont judge based on appearance - they form opinions based on how people act. You spread hate and pathology with your comments. I call it like I see it - sorry if the truth hurts. Like the sauce?
1ke June 03, 2012 at 05:16 PM
You have no clue about the struggles of folks trapped in a way of life that they want to escape. If you are the person you claim to be and you bolted and headed for the hills. I see that as cowardice. If your forbears, bolted and headed for the hills you need to reclaim what was yours. The suburban lifestyle is doomed and, if you are as smart as you claim to be, you know it in your core. Truth never hurts and I respect the sauce. Frankly--and earnestly--you can keep your mainstream Fox News cant and keep it real. It is utter garbage. I have great respect for your latest post. All coming from an idiot. Pilgrim.
Escariot June 03, 2012 at 05:52 PM
The suburban dream is alive and well. What will happen is that when the city destroys itself, people from the suburbs will come in and develop and price it out of the reach of the miscreants that demolished it in the first place. Talking about struggles without remarking about personal accountability is a mistake. The adolescents of the dc voucher program and the charter schools of Louisiana are an example of these same kids in the same situations making the right decisions and succeeding. When an individual is in abject poverty because of a non-existent stable homelife and they go and father multiple children and leave them in the same situation it is not about fox news. It is about people deciding to behave in a manner that is self-destructive. It is laughable that you call everyone cowards because they do not want to live in a cesspool.
Parkvillehoney June 03, 2012 at 07:29 PM
1ke, I beg to differ that people don't know the struggles of the inner city poor. As a teenager, I grew up in poverty. Sometimes my family didn't know where our next meal would come from and we all wore hand me down out of style clothes, with holes in our shoes. Thank God for cardboard to put in our shoes. My only goal was to get an education to escape my poor lifestyle. I didn't get pregnant, commit crimes, sell or do drugs or skip school. I worked after school, weekends and graduated from a Baltimore City Public High School! I am now a solid member of the middle class. I achieved this status thru hard work not thru one bit of handouts. My family never had food stamps, Section 8 housing, energy assistance or Medicaid. I couldn't afford college so I worked daytime and went to school at night. Read Dr Ben Carson's story and get a reality check!
1ke June 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I taught in his high school, ma'am. You know and most don't. You don't sound smug either--unlike the vast majority of posters. I appreciate your post. How the newspapers and TV have misrepresented the efforts of the urban poor is nearly criminal.
1ke June 03, 2012 at 07:40 PM
With Paul Vallas, the predecessor of the current Secretary of Education and former CEO of the Philadelphia schools, hyping the New Orleans schools and the hedge funds hyping the DC charters, it is no wonder that you are convinced that everything is going well and that people actually do pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Parkvillehoney June 03, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Ike, I can point you to Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore. You do not need to be Catholic to attend. Almost all students are poor BUT they have a goal to do better! Almost all students have won schlorships to attend college. I think it is easier to pull yourself up by your boostraps today, because there is more help. Inner city residents have to have the will and desire to escape their surroundings. Nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. Instead, they use the copout of poverty as a crutch. If the inner city poor residents made positive choices in their lives, they would succeed. Nothing is going to convince me otherwise, because I have been in their shoes.
1ke June 03, 2012 at 08:22 PM
You, of course, understand how super-resourced Christo Rey is, how the competition for slots excludes many children and that the successes of its students are used as arguments that damn those who didn't make the cut. Why is this kind of super-resourcing not part of public policy? I mean, we sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars to treat lesions smaller than a thumbnail. Some folks here even call the circumstances of the urban poor pathological, call it cancer--and then begrudge treatment. I have no beef with you, ParkvilleHoney.
JD1 June 03, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Again you have missed the point - nobody has called "circumstances" pathological. People have called the ACTIONS of some low-life scum pathological. These individuals use poverty as an excuse for acting like animals. Pvillehoney and others like her have proven that you can be poor and still be a respectable human being.
1ke June 03, 2012 at 11:47 PM
No one is questioning the existence of sociopaths. Additionally, I don't think a reasonable person could view crime and systemic violence as anything but the residue of poverty. Are you going to back off your former extreme vitriol now and talk about "SOME low-life scum"? Not fences. No robocops. No menu of sidewalk sandwiches. Not armed to the teeth and loaded for bear. In that case, I have no quarrel with you either. Otherwise, it's me and you at High Noon.
Escariot June 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM
You seemed to have missed my point Ike. Charter schools are successful because if the teaching sucks the parents remove their kids and the school dissipates. Not all charters are success, but those that are incompetent do not get propped up by teacher's union fees and government grants. You mention resources as a reason for success, yet we spend more per student than any other country. Why not ask the Detroit public school system why 600 million dollas of government provided funds has "magically vanished", or better yet Ike ask why teachers that have been caught with child porn or commited felonies took over 2 years to fire and get them removed. Systemic violence can be the result of cultural norms. Why do affluent athletes and rock stars commit violent acts against their partners? Is that the residue of poverty Ike?
CB9678 June 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM
School choice does not work. Look to Baltimore City which already has achool choice and has since the early 90's...It doesn't look like it works!
1ke June 04, 2012 at 03:13 PM
We've looked at the fallacies in previous posts underlying your citation of the fictive Detroit funds and funding levels of US schools. In the state of Maryland, charter school employees are unionized. You want to do away with due process? What about blowing people up with drones? Cultural norm? You know you are painting with a push broom here.
Parkvillehoney June 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Ike and other readers of the Patch. I hope you would agree government has to be ran like a business. If the taxpayers don't receive value and efficiency for their tax dollars, they must make a CHANGE. If public schools can't produce students that are self sufficient and workforce or college ready, close them down. Give that money, through vouchers, to charter or private schools that can do the job. If tenured teachers can't do the job, there are many qualified people waiting to do it. Government and public employees can't operate the same way they did 30 years ago. We, the taxpayers can't afford it. Today, most private sector employees do more work on the job, for less or the same amount of money and benefits. Taxpayers, wake up!! If YOU don't demand a change, in a few years, the USA will be like Greece and Spain.
1ke June 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Actually, I think business needs to be run more like government. But can we dispense with that inflammatory item for now? I can hear it now, " Oh, you're a communist!" and "EWWW, a liberal!". Fox News lapdogs. Schools do not produce anything. People are not widgets or cars, circuit boards or vats of polymers. School grow people. They finish what families start and what communities cultivate. You are asking too much of schools. At the very least you are regarding schools and an education as commodities. They are not commodities. There is no unambiguous evidence that charter schools do a better job than public schools. There is no fast and true evidence that an outsourced teaching workforce is better than a unionized one. Schools do not work so well these days, I'll grant you. The pursuit of a solution is a far more complicated venture. We could work on this here on Patch, if anyone is interested.
JD1 June 04, 2012 at 07:50 PM
1ke - not sure about businesses being run like govt but definitely agree with you regarding schools. Charters can churn the status quo just like the public schools. There are a ton of "non-profits" and "foundations" cashing in by partnering with some of these charters. Lots of folks are making big bucks while trying to "support" charter schools. Unfortunately there aren't many successful models out there that are working with truly at-risk kids and making any real progress. We need real alternative schools and we need to stop worshiping the holy testing and accountability systems. They don't work and folks can spin the data any way they want. I love models that look nothing like a traditional setting and involve kids in engaging and authentic learning. It's possible to lure kids away from the street, but not with any traditional models or so-called charters that hand pick kids so they look good.
1ke June 04, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I want to see the feedback, JD1. You are on the money, in my view, and I want to know more about what you see as effective and actionable. I have had some valuable experiences in this vein and want to know what other people are interested in. Using the existing--though weak--charter school laws to create new schools that really work is a real possibility. That you tutored is a powerful inducement. Thanks for not hating me any more.
Parkvillehoney June 04, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I want to thank the last few posters to the Patch. I have enjoyed reading your thoughtful and provocative posts. I feel there could be a solution with defaming or sarcastic posts. Thank you all!!
JD1 June 05, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Never hate - just passionate disagreement! As for some effective models: I did some work with a school in New England. It was residential and brought kids from horrible situations together with counselors, social workers and awesome educators. Kids learned through projects, sailing and other outward bound type experiences. After a year they returned home, but to different schools with on-going support. Most went onto college, technical schools or the military. I have seen several models where kids learn vocational skills with support and partnership from local businesses. Basic reading, writing and math skills are taught within the context of real work with tangible sults. Kids learn how to run small businesses and transition directly into jobs from school. Often success involves relocation. Families are often supportive as they usually have lost control of the situation. The bottom line is that kids coming from really tough situations require love, commitment and investment of time and money that school systems often can't provide for a variety of reasons: systemic constraints, limited resources, limited creativity, ...etc. The whole NCLB model, the idea of "highly qualified" teachers and the idea that the only pathway to success is college needs to get flushed now. It's not helping the kids who really need our support. Give kids a reason to achieve and a taste of accomplishment and they won't run around like idiots in the streets.
1ke June 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM
At issue, too, is the big question: do we through our schools, communities and families raise our children to be producers or consumers? Obviously, the world is full of producers--in Indonesia, in China, in India--who consume very little. Who is buying all of the products?
Edward V tindel June 07, 2012 at 11:29 AM
what is wrong with this mayor. Rawlings Blake is telling people that the inner harbor is safe,because they locked up a few people...problem, they didn't lock up any black juveniles who are the ones causing the problems,not even the ones they have on video tape robbing the 7-eleven store and assaulting the clerk.or the black teens who assaulted a guy at Hopkins plaza..what is wrong with her...the problem is still out there http://innerharborviolencenightmaresonlightstreet.renthandy.com/
Deskboy in Miami June 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
As a former resident of Bel Air, let me give you guys a heads up. The video on you tube is out there and everyone already knows that Del McDonough is speaking the truth. Baltimore is no different than Detroit, Camden NJ, Philly or Chicago. Now do something abut it..... if you care.
Deborah A Cox July 04, 2012 at 12:23 PM
It does not matter what color these people are the fact is people are getting killed,hurt sometimes badly and people are scared to death to go to Baltimore City. I was born and raised there and its not like it was then. This has to stop before there is no one left to solve it. I dont know how to stop it but its going to take more than one person and its going to take all parents to start caring where their kids are aand what they are doing. Its a start.
getreal July 26, 2012 at 09:58 PM
the city leaders care about nothing but perpetuating their existance, through votes from the drains on society, as we pay for it all. Shaun should relocate to SW Baltimore, with his Peace Pipe, singing Kumbaya. Meanwhile, I''ll spend my money someplace else, while the Federal Government continues to support these sore holes with more government handouts to the "parents" of the perpetrators.
Anita November 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Black people have a very good reason to mistrust & be suspicious of Whites? Really? Yes, poverty...(let's go the next step.) Why poverty? A legacy of...(go ahead...reach for it...) Slavery, Jim Crow, and unequal starting points & opportunities! Is that so hard to swallow? Apparently. Do you people who 'fear' for your lives by roving bands of black kids downtown realize that: 63.4% of the city (and don't you perry hall nimby's EVER call it yours) is Black, and this year 10/196 homicides so far involved Whites? So (let's do the math, PHHS probably taught it to the Whites...) 5.1% of murder victims were White. 36.7% of the population here is White. ARE YOU DAFT? You have to A) Do drugs B) Sell drugs or C) Tell police about A &/or B to be killed. This society POSIONS it's minority youth. Kids are jerks, everywhere. Social media/ technology is a big player these days. Check your terminology, check your privilege, and check your internal biases (we ALL have them. Yes, even YOU) And stay FAR away from my city, please, at least until you can look at people and see humans.. Your ticky-tacky houses don't resonate here.
1ke November 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Very few people here are going to listen, Anita. First, they are only vaguely interested in the city since their racist forbears fled in fear. Second, they flee in fear since what is in their hearts shines through and they walk around as targets for disrespect. Third, ummm....this is a dead thread. I like your perspective. Jump in on one of the live threads.
Baltimorecityofanimals March 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM
I am a crime victim, victimized in the inner harbor area, an area that is a sham, surrounded by various security and tourist assistance types whose job is to provide the aura of safety. The cities residents are animals. Sure only x percent actually do the beating, but the rest are the support system that allows it to go on. Just like in Nazi Germany. Just like in any culture of violence. Stay away from Baltimore and its animals.
Baltimorecityofanimals March 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Words of wisdom. The city's residents are animals.

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