President Donald Trump has declined a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley to lower American flags in honor of the fatal shooting of five employees of The Capital newspaper last week.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? … Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley said Monday afternoon. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”
Gov. Larry Hogan ordered Maryland state flags to be lowered to half-staff from Friday through sunset on Monday.
Through Maryland’s congressional delegation, Buckley put in a request to the White House over the weekend to lower the American flags.
Buckley had said he hoped having the American flags lowered, too, would help keep national attention on the attack.
Trump has ordered flags lowered for previous mass shootings, including in May after the deaths of 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February that left 17 dead.
While Buckley had previously thought he might lower the city’s American flags regardless of the president’s decision, the mayor said his wife talked him out of that.
“At this point in time, it would start to polarize people and I don’t want to make people angry,” he said.
The White House did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.