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Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay Mckesson Running for Mayor of Baltimore


A Baltimore activist who made a name for himself as a Black Lives Matter protester has thrown his hat in the ring for Mayor of Baltimore.

DeRay Mckesson, who has been everywhere pushing the Black Lives Matter line since last April’s riots, has filed to run as a Democrat in what is likely an uphill race against a Democratic incumbent.


Mckesson jumps into a crowded field of up to 12 other candidates who have already announced a run for the office of the vulnerable mayor.

In a statement reported by the New York Times, Mckesson said he wants to challenge the status quo. “We cannot rely on traditional pathways to politics and the traditional politicians who walk that path,” he said. “We have to challenge the practices that have not and will not lead to transformation.”

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has drawn sharp criticism for her actions during the protests, most especially for reportedly issuing a stand-down order to Baltimore police officers at the height of the riots.

Rawlings-Blake also caused outrage when she told the media that she ordered the Baltimore Police Department to give the protesters the “space” to “destroy” whatever they wanted to destroy.

Mckesson, though, has months of outrageous statements of his own under his belt.

In an interview with The Atlantic, for instance, Mckesson dismissed the massive destruction and violence perpetrated by rioters in Ferguson, Missouri, last year, saying the carnage was merely “in a tradition of protest.”

In the same interview, Mekesson went on, calling the sacking of the city a perfect example of the “democratic way.”

Mckesson also told an audience in Connecticut that police in Cleveland refused to render first aid to Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot by city police. But the truth is that the wounded child was given first aid four minutes after he was shot.

He has even turned on other African-Americans in the media. In October, Mckesson attacked “The View’s” Raven-Symonè, saying she is “deeply uninformed” about race, and he said CNN’s Don Lemon is “slow to learn.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at

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