Regarding Monday’s unrest in Baltimore, most of us should take time to think before we speak. I live in Maryland, but not in Baltimore. Let’s listen first to the voices of the residents and elected leaders of Baltimore.
I personally believe that the trouble in the streets on Monday was on a smaller scale than it might have seemed on television and social media. There were probably more peaceful adult men and women trying to calm the situation, compared to a relatively few people who participated in criminal looting.
Despite a lot of anger among young people, there was relatively little physical violence between people. Remember, looting is a crime against property. I’m more concerned about human beings.
Baltimore police suffered broken bones and serious injuries, but I’ve heard of very few injuries reported among civilians, and no deaths. Baltimore police can take credit for that. The Baltimore Police Department showed great restraint most of the time, allowing clergy and neighbors a chance to calm angry young people.
Among large groups of protesters, most were giving voice to anger, and not crossing the line into law breaking.
Mondawmin Mall suffered significant damage at the entrances. Not every store inside the mall was damaged. A large number of cars were burned, and there were a number of building fires, including a large fire on the East side. It’s not clear how many of the fires are directly related to the disorder.
After order has been restored, I’ll want to think about economic and social implications.
I pray that all will observe the curfew tonight.
— John Hayden