Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, began a tense exchange with former Parkland student and gun control activist David Hogg at a Harvard Institute of Politics event Thursday night. according to Hogg’s accusation that Hogan is more concerned with investing in policing than helping minority communities.
Hogan, in the face of rumors that he considers a 2024 presidential candidacy, is promoting his new book “Still Standing” in which he presents his handling of Freddie Gray’s riots in 2015, is framed as a strong advocate for the police and as an ally of minority communities. . In his book, Hogan portrays his relationship with black communities in Baltimore positively, saying they appreciate that he tried to stop the violence there and take the time to listen to his grievances, according to the first governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. He gave him advice that he should be a “chief counselor” after Freddie Gray’s riots.
But Hogg challenged Hogan about his support for police, saying “more than anything [gun violence] it is a problem of systemic racism and historical injustice, given that the No. 1predictor of where most armed violence occurs in the United States is where communities are rebuffed in the 1930s and 40s. “Hogg added that Hogan killed the planned light train “Red. Line “in Baltimore and refused to invest other money in” communities most affected by gun violence. “
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“You seem very willing to invest in policing and give them hundreds of millions of dollars, but when it comes to investing in those communities with these bills, haven’t you?” Hogg asked.
Hogan told Hogg that he agreed with him that more needs to be done about “primary causes” of violence in the interior, but said the inner city residents themselves support measures to stop crime in the interior. governor.
“But as we work — as we’ve gone through, it takes decades to change — as we work to solve these problems, we also have to stop shootings and murders, and I can say that 90 percent of Baltimore city residents and 90 percent percent of Baltimore City African Americans supported my crime laws to counter violent crime, ”Hogan said. “So it’s not just that I have a different opinion than you, every Baltimore country has a different opinion than you.”
Hogan also addressed the other elements of Hogg’s question about investments that the activist said he did not make to minority communities. The governor said he has invested more money in Baltimore than other Maryland governors, including “record investments in education” and money for job training. He added that his investments in the police are “trying to address the immediate problem of stopping the 350 people killed.”
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When Hogan detailed further actions he says have been done in Baltimore, Hogg withdrew and asked him to head to the scrapped red line in the city.
“Let me finish, because you had a very long question,” Hogan replied. “On the Red Line, the former governor, who was the former mayor of Baltimore, didn’t build it for eight years because it never made sense. The Washington Post editorial board said it was a problem he never did. no economy or transport. sense “.
Hogan went on to lead the creation of the “Purple Line,” a new DC subway line under construction that connects many of the areas in northeast DC with other subway lines.
“I built the Purple Line which is located in some of our poorest communities in Prince George’s County, our state’s largest minority population, which is one and a half times larger than the city of Baltimore, outside Washington. So I don’t mind investing in traffic systems that work, it’s just that it didn’t make sense in Baltimore, “Hogan said.
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This year has seen a conflict over gun violence in many cities, along with several protests against racial injustice and police brutality after the death of George Floyd while in the custody of 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.
Hogan, in his book and with a large number of appearances in the media, has advocated investing in the police and a harsh approach to crime. But many on the left, like Hogg, claim that the police issue is the issue, and point out that African Americans are much more likely to die at the hands of the police than whites. Some have even advocated police disbandment or wholesale dismantling of police departments and replaced law enforcement with a public safety model that would send unarmed professionals to deal with things like domestic disputes. .
“It’s one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard,” Hogan said of defusing police in an interview with Fox News last week. “If you want to go after the problems in inner cities and violent crime and murder, we need to have more police … If you want to try to recruit and have more diversity, you have to invest more” If you want better training and better equipment and you want, you know, body cameras and you want people to have training and warm-up, all of that requires money. “