Martin O'Malley speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg News)

Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley said Sunday that he will announce his presidential campaign in riot-scarred Baltimore if he moves forward with a White House bid.

"I wouldn't think of announcing anyplace else," O'Malley, the city's former mayor, said during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press," adding that the plight of America's cities would be central to a presidential bid.

The tenure of O'Malley, who served as Baltimore's mayor between 1999 and 2007, has come under intense scrutiny since rioting broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man whose death in police custody led to the indictments of six officers on Friday.

[Six officers charged in death of Freddie Gray]

O'Malley's "zero-tolerance" policing policy led to steep decline in violent crime, but critics say it also contributed to the community distrust that erupted after Gray’s death.

On Sunday, O'Malley (D) said the past week was “a heartbreaking setback for an otherwise remarkable comeback" by Baltimore.

“I am more inclined and more deeply motivated now to address what’s wrong with our country and what needs to be healed," he said. “What's happened in Baltimore should be a wake-up call for the entire country.”

Calling U.S. cities "the heart of our country," O'Malley said the nation needs an urban agenda.

"We need to stop ignoring especially people of color and act like they’re disposable citizens in this nation," he said. "That’s not how our economy’s supposed to work. It’s not how our country works.”

O'Malley has said that he plans to decide whether to move forward with a presidential bid by the end of the month. If he gets into the race, he would face an uphill battle for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Rodham Clinton.