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Trump declines request to lower flags in memory of Capital Gazette shooting victims

| Monday, July 2, 2018, 6:36 p.m.
Capital Gazette reporter E.B. Furgurson III pauses by the crosses representing his five colleagues at a makeshift memorial at the scene outside the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Prosecutors say 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the Capital Gazette newsroom killing five employees.
Jose Luis Magana | AP
Capital Gazette reporter E.B. Furgurson III pauses by the crosses representing his five colleagues at a makeshift memorial at the scene outside the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Prosecutors say 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the Capital Gazette newsroom killing five employees.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — President 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 Gazette 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 own 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.

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