Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has had a tense exchange with former Parkland student and gun control activist David Hogg at the Harvard Institute of Politics event Thursday night over Hogg’s accusation that Hogan was more interested in investing in police. than to help minority communities.
Hogan, amid rumors that he is considering a presidential candidacy in 2024, promotes his new book “Still Standing”, in which he touches on the handling of Freddie Gray’s riots in 2015, presents himself as a strong supporter of the police and as an ally of minority communities, in his book, Hogan praises his relationship with black communities in Baltimore, saying he appreciates that he sought to end the violence there and that he takes the time to listen to their grievances, the former governor said. in New Jersey, Chris Christie advised him to be a “chief comforter”
However, Hogg challenged Hogan for his support of the police, saying “more than anything [gun violence] is a problem of systemic racism and historical injustice, given that the number one predictor of where most gun violence occurs in the United States is where communities were delineated in the 1930s and 1940s. Hogg added that Hogan killed the planned Red Line light rail in Baltimore and refused to invest other money in “communities most affected by gun violence.”
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“You seem very eager to invest in the police and give them hundreds of millions of dollars, but when it comes to investing in these communities with these accounts, you haven’t done that?” Hogg asked.
Hogan told Hogg that he agreed with him that more should be done about the “root causes” of inner city violence, but said these same inner city residents supported measures to stop the governor’s crime.
“But as we work – as we have, it takes decades to change – as we work to address these issues, we must also stop the shootings and killings. I can tell you that 90 percent of Baltimore City residents and 90 percent from the African-Americans of Baltimore City supported my anti-violence bills, “Hogan said. “So it’s not just me who has a different opinion than you. It’s everyone in Baltimore who has a different opinion than you.”
Hogan also touched on other elements of Hogg’s question about the investment the activist said he did not make in minority communities. The governor said he had invested more money in Baltimore than other Maryland governors, including “record investment in education” and money for job training. He added that his investment in the police “is trying to deal with the immediate problem of stopping 350 people killed”.
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While Hogan described further action in detail, he said it was taken in Baltimore, Hogg stepped back, asking him to turn to the scrapped Red Line in the city.
“Let me just finish, because you had a very long question there,” Hogan said. “On the Red Line, the former governor, who was the former mayor of Baltimore, did not build it for eight years because it never makes sense. The Washington Post’s editorial board said it was a bundog that never made economic or transport sensations. “
Hogan went on to oversee the creation of the Purple Line, a new subway line under construction that connects many areas northeast of DC with other subway lines.
“I created the purple line, which is in some of our poorest communities in Prince Geroge County, the largest minority population in the state, one and a half times the size of the city of Baltimore, just outside Washington. So I don’t mind investing in transit systems that work, it just didn’t make sense in Baltimore, “Hogan said.
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This year saw difficulties in gun violence in many cities, as well as a series of protests against racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd while in custody at the Minneapolis Police Department. One officer was charged with second-degree murder for Floyd’s death, while three others were charged with accessories to the alleged crime.
In his book and media appearances, Hogan advocated investment in policing and a strict approach to crime. But many on the left, like Hogg, say the police themselves are the problem, noting that African Americans are much more likely to die at the hands of the police than whites. Some have even advocated for the protection of the police or the dismantling of police departments and the replacement of law enforcement with a public safety model that will send unarmed professionals to deal with things like internal disputes.
“This is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard,” Hogan told police in an interview with Fox News last week. “If you want to continue after the problems in the inner cities and the violence with crime and murder, we need to have more police … If you want to try to hire and have more diversity, you need to invest more. If you want better training and more better equipment and you want, you know, body cameras and you want people to have training and de-escalation, it all takes money. “