Wicomico County, Maryland, Sheriff Michael Lewis claims that Baltimore police were given an order to "stand down."
Sheriff Lewis, who is also a Maryland State Police Sergeant, told 105.7 The Fan that he had not originally planned to go to Baltimore during the riots on Monday (video below), but did so because he believed he had a duty to help local law enforcement.
According to CBS Baltimore, Sheriff Lewis said:
I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. This was urban warfare no doubt about it. The city officers thanked us profusely and told us they were very capable of handling this, but they were repeatedly told to stand down. They were told to stand down and let them destroy property. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is. The radio call said, "Stand down, stand down, retreat.”
Sheriff Lewis also claims that several Baltimore officers said they were ready to quit because they were not allowed to protect the city.
However, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake denied any stand down orders to Fox News: "You have to understand, it is not holding back. It is responding appropriately."
Fox News also quoted an anonymous "senior law enforcement source" as saying that police were told to stand down by Rawlings-Blake.