BALTIMORE — Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday expressed outrage at Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey over his suggestion that a downtown police memorial be removed.
"I am disgusted by the vile remarks about removing the public memorial saluting Baltimore’s fallen police officers, which was funded and championed by their family members," Hogan tweeted.
Hogan's reaction was in response to a question recently posed by Dorsey, asking why an organization like the Fraternal Order of Police should have a monument in Baltimore City.
In a July 7 tweet, Dorsey called the local police union "a toxic, divisive organization," that "tears down every effort to reform BPD." He accuses them of waging "endless war against anyone who dares speak out against police corruption, misconduct, and abuse, including its own officers," while defending and encouraging unconstitutional policing.
The memorial in question which sits on President Street directly across from Baltimore Police Headquarters, doesn't represent the Fraternal Order of Police. It's a public memorial that salutes Baltimore Police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, and is funded by their family members.
Lodge 3 does maintain it and hold an annual candle light visual there.
In his full remarks Thursday, Hogan acknowledged who pays for the memorial and what it stands for.
I am disgusted by the vile remarks about removing the public memorial saluting Baltimore’s fallen police officers, which was funded and championed by their family members. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/0jySvjBOKz— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) July 9, 2020
Dorsey responded to Hogan's comments Thursday, saying "I invite everyone to actually read my comments. At no time have I called for the removal of either of the City’s memorials to police officers and I'm not now calling for that. My original comment was a question inviting debate and nothing more, and I’ve been clear that I was motivated by my critique of the conduct of the FOP."
President of Lodge 3, Mike Mancuso, said he took Dorsey's comments as an insult and a threat. Mancuso said he has asked the union's attorneys to get involved.
Just three weeks ago, the memorial was vandalized.
Sources say the bronze base of that statue had a can of paint splattered over it, with the phrase "I can't breathe," spray painted on it.
Union leaders spent the following day cleaning and washing off the vandalism.
So far no arrests have been made related to that incident.