catherine pugh tired of pretending
Donning a smart black jacket, she shared an emotional hug with a protester wielding a bottle. Shortly after, she angrily told a Fox News host that demonstrators were not looking for trouble.
Now, Maryland State Senator Catherine E. Pugh is under fire for ’empathizing’ with the hundreds of people who were taking to the streets of Baltimore armed with rocks and bottles on Tuesday night.
The 65-year-old was accused of being ‘foolish’ and ‘an embarrassment’ by social media users for defending protesters in the city, which has been the scene of riots following Freddie Gray’s death.
According to WJZ, she added: ‘That is the only way the public gets to see that we care about our city, that we care about violence against our people and we can do better than what’s being done today.’
Ms Pugh’s pleas on Tuesday were of a similar nature. Shortly after her hug with the demonstrator, she joined Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera for an interview – but the reporter quickly ran afoul of protesters.
As a male demonstrator deliberately cut in front of the camera, Mr Rivera shouted: ‘You’re making a fool of yourself.’ Referring to Ms Pugh, he added: ‘If we can get her away from these vandals here.
In response, Ms Pugh appeared to say: ‘They’re not vandals.’ As protesters shouted things like ‘stop making money off black pain’ at Rivera, Ms Pugh added: ‘We want the media to move back.’
‘It seems like they want trouble,’ Mr Rivera replied, according to Raw Story. However, Ms Pugh insisted: ‘They don’t want trouble’, before claiming that the media presence was ‘inciting’ people.
‘They’ve been demonstrating very peacefully. And you know, I think that what people say there are camera lights, and when you see that, it incites people,’ Ms Pugh told Mr Rivera in remarks aired live on Fox.
‘But these people have been out here all day long just demonstrating very peacefully. And they’re demonstrating because they care about their neighborhoods, and they care about their communities.
During the interview, Ms Pugh led Mr Rivera and his cameraman away from the demonstrators. Also on Tuesday night, she asked the media via loudspeaker to move back and ‘respect our communities’.