*The relationship between police and the urban communities they serve is like a struggling marriage in need of better communication, the mayor of Baltimore said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said in a speech to the group that both cities and their police departments have to find ways to make it up.
“For better or worse we are stuck together,” she said. “It’s up to us whether it’s going to be a healthy relationship or an unhealthy relationship.”
She added that she knows “people married for 20 years, and haven’t talked in 10. It happens. We have to keep talking.”
Six Baltimore officers face trial in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died in April from an injury suffered in police custody. Gray’s death was among a series of police killings of black men that sparked protests across the United States.
Rawlings-Blake said Baltimore had been a “powder keg,” adding, “we had to deal with the issues that many people in the community thought was an uneven playing field, that police officers were held to a different standard after they had been caught in a crime.”
Rawlings-Blake hosted a delegation of nearly 40 mayors in Baltimore over the weekend to begin crafting an agenda to present presidential candidates and Congress on urban policy issues. They include investing in infrastructure, work force training and clean energy.