Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa, alongside Mayor Catherine Pugh, appeared onstage during last night’s Eric B. and Rakim show at Baltimore Soundstage to “apologize for all the things that the police have done, dating back 200 years.”
The apology was met with boos.
Video obtained by Baltimore Fishbowl shows De Sousa trying to reiterate his point, referring to abuses from centuries ago and listing off more tough-on-crime tactics during the crack epidemic in the ’80s that “affected, disproportionately, African-American men,” and zero-tolerance policing in the 2000s.
“I want to take the time to apologize for what police had did,” he said. “And I promise you we’re gonna make a change in the future.”
That was met with a smattering of applause and more boos. Mayor Pugh did not address the crowd, the source of the video says.
Watch the video of the apology below. The image is small, but the audio is clear.
De Sousa and Pugh were booed from the start, as the commissioner asked the audience, “Can I get one second please?”
One of the performers–Rakim, says the source of the video–can be heard asking the crowd to listen.
“This is conscious music here, yo. This is conscious hip-hop, listen up.”
Pugh and De Sousa were joined onstage by a minister from the Nation of Islam.
Asked for comment about Pugh’s appearance, spokesperson James Bentley says the mayor was appearing to meet with religious leaders.
“Mayor stopped by at the invitation of some Muslim community leaders,” he wrote in an email. “Nothing organized or intended beyond offering greetings. A ‘Welcome to Baltimore.’”
Baltimore Fishbowl has also reached out to the Baltimore Police Department for comment.
The reunited hip-hop duo pulled a similar move at a New York show on April 9, when Cynthia Nixon, the gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex and the City” actress, appeared onstage at Irving Plaza to deliver a short stump speech. It appears she received a warmer reception, though there were some scattered boos too.