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STEPHANIE RAWLINGS BLAKE:  Well, it’s not just today, this is the work I’ve been doing for four years focusing on the community and police, and that’s why I brought Commissioner Batts to Baltimore, he’s a reformer and someone that believes like I do in the power of the relationship between the community and police.  And we’ve been working on repairing that relationship, you know, before Ferguson, before all of this stuff.  We were in the community trying to repair this relationship.  We’ve had forums in communities in every police district, including one that was dedicated just to young people so we could try to figure out what we can do to strengthen that relationship.  We’ve instituted new training to improve the relationship between the community and police.  And I will say that there’s clearly a lot of work to do after this incident.  There is a lot of – tempers have flared, there’s a lot of distrust, there’s a lot of hurt on both sides from the community.  In some areas they were very hurt, very disrespected.  And the police feel the same way.  I met with the community, some community leaders downtown yesterday, and they just know that we have to work on reconciliation if we’re going to have a say for Baltimore.  And that’s my focus.

ROLAND MARTIN:  Will there be a reconciliation commission?  Will you have public hearings across Baltimore to allow people to tell their stories?  They’re very much like the healing that took place out of South Africa coming out of apartheid.  Two different issues there, but there’s tremendous pain that I felt when I was there Tuesday for our town hall on TV1.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS BLAKE:  Mm-hmm.  So we absolutely need to work on the issues of reconciliation.  And my hope is, my one Baltimore initiative, where we are identifying our short term, midterm and long term systemic issues that this reconciliation is one of those areas where we can focus and we can heal.

ROLAND MARTIN:  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, we certainly appreciate you coming on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.  Thanks a lot.

TOM JOYNER:  We support you.  We support you, Mayor.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS BLAKE:  Thank you so much.  Thank you.

SYBIL WILKES:  Baltimore strong.

TOM JOYNER:  Yes.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS BLAKE:  Thank you.

TOM JOYNER:  We support you.

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS BLAKE:  I appreciate it.

SYBIL WILKES:  Good job, Roland.

TOM JOYNER:  And Marilyn Mosby too.  I support her too.

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Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake On If She Supports Marilyn Mosby’s Decision, Apologizes For Calling Citizens Thugs  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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