BALTIMORE — A Baltimore police internal investigation is underway into a traffic stop involving a mayoral candidate, and his rivals in the Democratic primary are weighing in.
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott filed as an official candidate Thursday for Baltimore's 2020 Democratic mayoral primary.
"I feel good, I feel good," Scott said.
He came prepared to discuss the campaign issue of the day involving competitor Thiru Vignarajah's traffic stop, a portion of which was recorded on police body-worn camera video.
Scott said that what is seen on the video is not what leadership looks like.
"You get into public service to do good for all, not to get special treatment for yourself," Scott said.
Former Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith also filled out his paperwork Thursday.
"Character is what you do when no one's watching. We weren't afforded the opportunity to watch because he asked the officer to turn off his body-worn camera, which is out of policy. Why would you do that?" Smith said. "What I saw was sheer arrogance and privilege, and it's really unfortunate that it had to be exerted toward that officer."
Retired federal law enforcement officer Valerie Cunningham, also a Democratic candidate for mayor, weighed in on the police video, saying, "It's, like, does the average citizen get to say, 'Turn your camera off,' and then it goes off?"
"I doubt that any other citizen would've been afforded that opportunity," said Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who is running in the election.
It was a similar take from former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is running in 2020: "This incident exposes how people in our city are treated differently by the police, which is wrong and needs to be fixed by police leadership immediately."
Mayoral candidate state Sen. Mary Washington also weighed in, saying: "Core to my candidacy is a call and promise for transparency and accountability. The citizens of Baltimore deserve no less, and we should hold ourselves to higher standards."
After the first criticism was lobbed, 11 News reached out to Vignarajah, whose campaign responded in a statement that focuses on Scott and Young, saying, "Jack (Young) and Brandon (Scott) are talking about a 4-month-old traffic stop about a repair order, because last week, our campaign announced we raised $1 million and are now leading in the polls. Read more at WBAL TV