Hemmer to Baltimore Mayor: Did You Tell Cops to Stand Down?
Police sources have said that on Monday, the Baltimore police department was told to stand down and not confront the hordes of looters and rioters who were rampaging in the city.
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."
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."
Watch the full exchange above.