I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also [as a result] gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw. – Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
As I am trying to compose today’s blog, I am sitting in my car, waiting for my wife to get off from work, listening to Sirius XM Channel 114, which is the Fox News Feed.
After the funeral of Freddie Gray, a black man who died, under mysterious circumstances, while in police custody, the city of Baltimore has erupted into rioting and looting.
The Washington, DC CBS Affiliate reported that
Residents and commuters are being urged to avoid parts of Baltimore as a large riot continues to grow violent Monday evening.
Baltimore Police say seven officers, including one who is unresponsive, have been injured. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has put the National Guard ‘on alert’ to respond to the situation.
Police have sprayed mace and used tear gas to stop the riots, but a large group of teenagers continued to throw bricks, rocks and other items at officers.
Rioters are currently looting businesses, including a CVS in the area of North Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. The CVS is now on fire.
Police are urging all parents of Baltimore to locate their children and bring them home, as the riots consist of a large number of juveniles.
The Baltimore Orioles game against the White Sox has now been postponed because of the unrest.
The Maryland State Police has sent more than 80 of its troopers to assist Baltimore Police. Montgomery Co. police are also assisting.
One of WNEW’s reporters Steve Dorsey was injured and his phone was stolen during the protests.
WNEW’s Karen Adams reports police have arrested at least two people so far. The protests started in the area of Mondawmin Mall have spilled into nearby streets and neighborhoods.
Police say the group has refused to follow orders and the department is continuing to deploy resources into the neighborhoods near the mall. Officers are also using fire extinguishers to put out small fires that rioters started.
Later last night CBS Baltimore reported that
Fifteen Baltimore City police officers were injured, multiple vehicles were vandalized and set on fire, and businesses were looted as a massive group of rioters ran wild along North Avenue early Monday evening.As a result, a city-wide curfew was put in place in an effort to restore order.
It’s believed the riots may be a result of fliers that were apparently shared over the weekend on social media asking high schoolers to rally at Mondawmin Mall. It was supposed to be a peaceful march for Freddie Gray that extended from Mondawmin Mall to The Avenue.
Instead, things quickly spiraled out of control.
Police said the hurt officers suffered injuries from flying debris in the melee as rioters began attacking them unprovoked. At least one was knocked unconscious. Two officers remained hospitalized Monday night. Twenty-seven suspects were arrested.
By 7 p.m., Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to address the growing violence and unrest. Many businesses in downtown Baltimore closed early and streets were eerily quiet as workers and residents feared the protests and violence would return to the heart of Charm City.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared a week-long curfew to be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the city in an effort to curb further violence and rioting. This curfew is in addition to the juvenile curfew already in effect for the city.
“What we see going on tonight that is going on in our city is very disturbing. It is very clear there is a difference between what we saw over the past week with the peaceful protests, those who wish to seek justice, those who wish to be heard and want answers, and the difference between those protests and the thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city,” said Rawlings-Blake during a press conference Monday evening.
The mayor said the only exceptions for people to be on the streets during the curfew would be for medical emergencies or those going to work.
“I’m a life-long resident of Baltimore, and too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” she said. “We are deploying every resource possible to gain control of the situation and to ensure peace moving forward.”
And, summer hasn’t even started yet.
Is it just me, or do you also remember that we are supposed to be living under the first post-racial president?
It sure does not seem that way. Ever since Obama got into office, all I have heard from him is the Rhetoric of Racial Division and Class Warfare.
It reminded me of all the historical conflicts which I used to read about, during the course in college which I took, titled “The Rhetoric of Social “.
Karl Marx knew long ago that all you needed to do to touch the heart of the common man was to convince him of a shared struggle.
Vladimir Lenin took this a step further, by using the concept of a shared struggle to convince the Bolsheviks to help him overthrow the Czar of Russia and murder him and his family during the Russian Revolution.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but fiery rhetoric spoken by a national leader has consequences.
President Barack Hussein Obama is as responsible for what is happening in Baltimore as any thug wannabe in that city.
However, he is not alone in his responsibility.
Also responsible are the black political leaders, including the mayor, in Baltimore. Their silence speaks volumes. By the mayor, whether on purpose or inadvertently, giving carte blanche to the rioters to destroy, she, like the Roman Emperor Nero, lit the match that has set her kingdom ablaze.
I remember, as a 9 year old in Memphis, Tennessee, watching my parents’ black and white television as the National Guard was called into action on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
I remember after that Civil Defense Announcement that President Lyndon Johnson come on national television to make the announcement of Dr. King’s death. I remember a feeling of helplessness and of fear, as a nine-year-old, that I had not felt before.
It wasn’t just the fact that we were living in Midtown Memphis, that made me afraid.
It was the fact of the out-of-control violence itself, that caused my consternation.
And now, all these years later, I have the same feelings tugging at my gut. It’s not because I can’t take care of myself, trust me, I can.
It is because, those leaders, who have sworn to protect American Citizens, up in our nation’s capital and in Baltimore, have skirted that responsibility.
Until He Comes,