A senior law enforcement source charges that Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out Monday night, raising more questions about whether some of the violence and looting could have been prevented.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denies the allegations.
The source, who is involved in the enforcement efforts, confirmed to Fox News there was a direct order from the mayor to her police chief Monday night, effectively tying the hands of officers as they were pelted with rocks and bottles.
Asked directly if the mayor was the one who gave that order, the source said: “You are God damn right it was.”
The claim follows criticism of the mayor for, over the weekend, saying they were giving space to those who “wished to destroy.”
Fox Insider reported that in an exclusive interview with Bill Hemmer, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denied that there was ever an order to “hold back.”
“No, but you have to understand it’s not holding back. It’s responding appropriately,” she said.
Rawlings-Blake said although officers were injured, there was no loss of life. She said if the police had responded more aggressively, they could have been accused of excessive force and inflamed the situation even more.
“We used a very serious but measured approach. And once we had the appropriate resources in place to respond appropriately, we went in.”
Hemmer asked Rawlings-Blake what she would say to criticism that she has “screwed this up.”
“People have a right to their opinion,” she answered.
The interview was conducted last night and aired this morning on “America’s Newsroom.”