Baltimore’s Mayor willing to use the law to punish looters; no word on cop’s consequences for severing Mr. Freddie Gray’s spine.
Many individuals I’ve talked to today who watched the drama between police and communities of color unfold in Baltimore, Maryland have blamed the police department and city officials for the uprising, and said the only thing that will calm those angered by injustices is the arrest and prosecution of the police officers involved in the controversial incidents surrounding the death of 25 year-old Mr. Freddie Gray.
However, the Mayor of Baltimore, Ms. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has a different idea on how to bring an end to destruction of private property by “thugs” who are giving her “great city” a bad name.
Ms. Rawlings-Blake, who spoke scarily to the press after a day of violent interactions between multiple groups of school-aged youth and Baltimore police officers, suggested that the arrest of looters, not the cops responsible for severing Mr. Gray’s spine, would remind everyone that she doesn’t govern a “lawless city.”
“It is idiotic to think by destroying your city you’ll make life better for anybody,” she asserted at a press conference where it was revealed that 15 Baltimore police officers were injured and nearly 30 arrests made.
Many media outlets made an effort to separate the young looters who set fire to a CVS, threw rocks and bricks at officers and broke into a check cashing place from the progressive activists who engaged in non-violent, civil disobedience. In contrast, multiple activists I interviewed suggested that all the movements—non-violent or otherwise—are built on the foundation of resistance to oppression.
In fact, a large portion of the people I’ve engaged on the issue of Baltimore’s uprising, though unwilling to directly endorse the seemingly lawless actions of riled up youth, say they understand why the actions of some have become so destructive and outwardly violent towards police.
Their general sentiment is that witnessing cops break the law and get away with it won’t make you, the citizen, have much respect for the law. And as made evident by the shocking scene played out today on the streets of Baltimore, there are plenty of people who no longer—or in some cases, never had—respect for law enforcement.
But regardless of how much property was destroyed throughout the day, and never mind the officers who were injured by flying debris, we mustn’t overlooked the fact that all of this civil disobedience—non violence or otherwise—is an outcome of atrocious and negligent behavior by those sworn to protect and serve. The death of Mr. Gray is unfortunate.
But in my opinion, what’s really unfortunate—and what really shows why protesters are taking to the streets to express their frustrations—is that the Mayor is quicker to use the law to punish those reacting to police violence, instead of the perpetrators of it.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™