Excerpted from an article at Agence France Presse, via breitbart.com:
Protesters smashed police cars and shop windows in downtown Baltimore on Saturday when the biggest demonstration over the death of a young African-American man in police custody turned violent.
More than 1,000 people joined an orderly 90-minute rally at Baltimore city hall demanding justice for Freddie Gray, who died last Sunday from spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in the city\’s impoverished west side.
But the mood shifted dramatically when several scores of protesters moved on to the Camden Yards baseball stadium, an hour before the scheduled start of a Baltimore Orioles-Boston Red Sox game.
Live images from local television news helicopters showed a youthful crowd hurling soda bottles and trash cans at police officers alongside the Sports Legends museum and Camden Yards ticket booths.
“Protesters are now breaking windows and throwing items at us,” the Baltimore police department confirmed on its Twitter feed. “We are asking everyone to remain peaceful.”
Others were seen smashing shop windows and blocked intersections, with one motorist getting a rock through her car window, CBS affiliate WBAL reported.
Five police cars were seen by an AFP photographer getting their windows smashed, before riot police moved in.
How are we supposed to feel about this?
Are people going to accept the premise that this was an “orderly 90 minute rally”? Or are people going to look at this and say “They\’re doing the same thing they did in Ferguson. They\’re using it as an excuse to riot. To loot. To break things. To steal things. Freddie Gray\’s death was not a tragedy to these people, his death was an opportunity for them.”?
Which do you think is more likely?
If Freddie Gray\’s death was caused by police indifference, or an intentional effort to hurt him that went far beyond what they intended, or even intentional murder, how exactly does this answer what happened? How does this resolve any issues that are involved with his death?
The saddest part? There are people – and, I would bet a lot more of them now than there were before the riot you just read about – who would answer this way:
“That is what they are and that is what they do. They scream out insults at the police and at White people…as they break or steal anything that\’s not nailed down. Just like they did in Ferguson, for Michael Brown. And the next day they\’re back in the welfare office collecting taxpayer money for their illegitmate babies like nothing happened. And we\’re supposed to live with them? They\’re animals and that\’s all they know how to do. I won\’t go near them if I can avoid it, and I\’ll cross the street if I see them coming”.
Is what you just read fair? No it is not.
Is it reasonable? No it is not.
Is it a disaster for the large majority of Black people who did not and would not engage in any such activity, and just want to go about their business and live their lives? Yes it is.
But do actions like last night\’s riot (and don\’t think it will be the last one in Baltimore) generate that kind of a response? You know the answer as well as I do.
Congratulations to the rioters and looters. You certainly have done wonders for racial tolerance, and for honoring the memory of Freddie Gray.
I hope you\’re happy with what you\’ve accomplished.