Seven police officers were injured Monday afternoon in riots that began near Mondawmin Mall and were spreading toward downtown. One officer was unresponsive and others suffered broken bones, police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said. [Baltimore Sun]
BALTIMORE CHAOS and violence has broken out on the same day that Freddie Gray was laid to rest. On Fox News, Shep Smith took on “The Five’s” Greg Gutfeld who can’t wrap his puny little brain around the history of intimidation between the Baltimore police and many citizens. Another reporter on FNC cited Governor Martin O’Malley‘s tenure, saying that one resident unloaded on the former governor for “aggressive policing” beginning in the early 20002.
The central violence, according to CNN, is being stirred by the Black Gorilla Family, the Crips and Bloods, the latter making news the entire time I lived in Los Angeles, California.
The Baltimore Police issued the warning that gangs were joining together in a “credible threat,” which is likely where CNN got their information. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts confirmed this threat in a press conference at 11:44 p.m. It should be noted that Batts quit the Oakland Police Department after critical court-appointed monitoring report.
It should be noted also that during the evening, one Baltimore pastor said that the Bloods and the Crips had come to a “peace” agreement over the weekend.
The “purge” message that was sent out was an additional incitement, which reports are saying fueled young people to violence.
The rioting, looting and threats of further violence followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died April 18, a week after being injured while in police custody. Gray, 25, was being transported in a police vehicle when he suffered injuries that proved fatal. On Monday, police said an online call was issued for a “purge” at 3 p.m. ET, starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending in the downtown area. The type of threat threat is based on a movie called “The Purge,” whose plot involves rampant lawlessness. [Fox News]
One of the most cogent statements about Baltimore burning came from the Orioles COO John Angelos.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch was sworn in today and reporting reveals she’s not only monitoring the situation, but will send members of the Justice Department to Baltimore.
Over the weekend Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a statement that has been the source of much criticism, as well as truncation, which has made matters worse, though the real issue is the silence of the Baltimore Police Department on how Freddie Gray ended up dead for simply looking at a policeman, then running from him.
“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 Rawlings-Blake
As Shep Smith earlier, it’s not illegal to look at a policeman or run from one. She let Greg Gutfeld have it when he began talking, ignoring the civil rights issues inside Baltimore. It was quite a moment, with Smith turning to overt sarcasm responding to some questions from the cast of “The Five.”
Governor Hogan has decided to not dispatch the National Guard as of this post. Later in the day, with Baltimore spiraling out of control, he reversed his decision.
At the funeral of Freddie Gray, Rep. Elijah Cummings brought it, the entire community gobsmacked from the continued silence about how Gray died.
The lack of leadership while Baltimore burned was astonishing. After all that’s happened recently, you’d think all urban areas would be prepared.
TM NOTE: This piece has been updated, the headline changed, as events unfolded over the evening.