During a press conference after the protest turned riot on Saturday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a stunning confession. While trying to walk the tightrope of protecting the rights of the protesters and insuring their safety, the destruction and potential harm to Baltimore and her other citizens was considered as well.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake stated that during discussions with the Baltimore Police regarding the scheduled protest, “we also gave those that wished to destroy, space to do that as well. “That “space” to “destroy” resulted in 35 arrests, including 31 adults and 4 juveniles as well as 6 police officers injured. Multiple storefronts were vandalized and several police vehicles were damaged. Though the Mayor, Freddie Gray’s family and a coalition of 25 Baltimore religious leaders continue to call for peace and calm, Baltimore Police have deployed additional officers throughout the city this weekend. Police later blamed the violence and criminal activity that occurred on “groups of outside agitators.”
Space to destroy comment starts at the 7:40 mark
The investigation into the specifics of what led to the severe spinal injury that resulted in Mr. Gray’s death is still ongoing. According to a Baltimore Sun investigation there are some alleged eyewitnesses whose version of events conflict with the police assertion that the arrest was made “without force or incident.” If recent history is any indication, the longer the investigation takes, the less likely the results will be seen as “justice” in the eyes of many Baltimore citizens or those “groups of outside agitators.”