Maryland state Sen. Catherine Pugh under fire for hugging Baltimore protester during riot

Photo credit Catherine Pugh website

Second-term Maryland state Sen. Catherine Pugh is taking a beating on social media for hugging a protester in Baltimore who was nearly in tears. She was called a “straight up fool,” “sooo annoying” and “an idiot” because she empathized with a protester who was holding a bottle. As reported by Kristal High on her site, “Senator Pugh sits on the Finance Committee — which makes decisions about every industry in the state, including banking, insurance, healthcare, and the state pension fund — and is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, where she has garnered a reputation as the state’s leading advocate for Cyber Security and Telemedicine expansion.”

This year marks Pugh’s first year as the Senate majority leader and she is also the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, which according to the organization’s website has a “primary mission is to develop, conduct and promote educational, research and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members, as they consider legislation and issues of public policy which impact, either directly or indirectly upon ‘the general welfare’ of African American constituents within their respective jurisdictions.”

In a standoff with FOX News anchor Geraldo Rivera, Pugh stated: “We want the media to move back.” She blames the media for provoking protesters.“No, they don’t want trouble,” she said. “We want our people to go home, but we also need the media to move back, because this is just inciting people.”

The confrontation happened just after Baltimore’s 10 p.m. curfew. Rivera continued to taunt the crowd of protestors telling them, “You’re making a fool of yourself!”

On her Tuesday morning Facebook status update, Pugh writes:

“Those who are staying home with our children today please use these hours of violence as teachable moments ..explain to them that history has shown us violence only masked the pain suffered by many who like our forefathers and mothers demonstrated peacefully through .marches and sit-in led by leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to force this nation to face it’s shame of discrimination and violation of our civil rights…give them examples like the denial of our right to vote and going to the schools of our choice…rights that they enjoy today. Tell them the frustrations that they’ve seen acted out in violence diverts the attention away from what we need this country to face today…the racial divide that has led to the inequalities that we are experiencing today,ie. death of our citizens by police whose salaries we pay with our tax dollars to serve and protect our communities and not not to serve and attack…the unequal distribution of wealth, the lack of jobs, and mass incarceration…we can change those inadequacies but not through violence. ..lf they’ve not seen the movie “Selma,” take them to see it. These are teachable moments. Let our actions be through planning and peaceful demonstrations.


One voice of compassion and understanding wrote on Twitter: “Fascinating on Fox News to have Catherine Pugh correctly identify TV cameras as a source of tension in Baltimore.” (@bengreenman)

Senator Catherine Pugh hugging protestor Twitter screenshot

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