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Baltimore: The Next Ferguson?


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Protests:

NYT - BALTIMORE — A largely peaceful protest over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury in police custody, gave way to scattered scenes of chaos here on Saturday night, as demonstrators smashed a downtown storefront window, threw rocks and bottles and damaged police cruisers, while officers in riot gear broke up skirmishes and made 12 arrests near Camden Yards.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake convened a news conference at City Hall, where she appeared with several others — including Mr. Gray’s twin sister, Fredericka; a prominent pastor, Jamal Bryant; and City Councilman Brandon Scott — to appeal for calm. By that time the disturbances had largely settled.

Mr. Gray’s sister, appearing composed less than 48 hours before her brother’s scheduled funeral, spoke only briefly, saying, “Freddie Gray would not want this. Freddie’s father and mother does not want the violence.”

There, Malik Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based group that called for the demonstration and advertised it on social media, told the crowd that he would release them in an hour, adding: “Shut it down if you want to! Shut it down!”

Mr. Shabazz said in a later interview that his rhetoric was intended only to encourage civil disobedience — not violence — but added that he was “not surprised” by the scattered angry outbursts because people here “haven’t received justice.”

Saturday’s trouble began in the early evening, when a group of protesters, as many as 100 by some accounts, split from the main group as the City Hall rally was breaking up and went on a rampage, throwing cans, bottles and trash bins at police officers, and breaking windows in some businesses. As the breakaway group reached Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles were playing the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night, it was met by police officers in riot gear.

Protesters smashed windows of some cars and blocked the corner of Pratt and Light Streets, a major intersection that is a main route to Interstate 95 and out of the city. The department used its Twitter feed to urge demonstrators to remain peaceful, and blamed the problems on “isolated pockets of people from out of town causing disturbances downtown.” Late in the ballgame, police briefly instructed fans to remain in the stadium “until further notice,” but the crowd was eventually released.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference that 1,200 officers had been deployed. The department spokesman, Capt. J. Eric Kowalczyk, told a local television station that the police were determined to protect the protesters’ rights to “peaceful expression.”

Continue reading the main story

Ahead of Saturday’s protest, state and city officials warned against outsiders coming into Baltimore to cause the type of unrest that roiled Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in August. Gov. Larry Hogan sent dozens of state troopers to Baltimore at the request of Mayor Rawlings-Blake, who urged those taking to the city’s streets to remain peaceful. “If you’re going to come here, come here to help us, not to hurt us,” she said.

But at Saturday night’s news conference, Rev. Bryant — who has led other protests here this week but was noticeably absent from the demonstration on Saturday — said the disruption was “not the byproduct of outside agitators,” but rather of “internal frustration,” noting that “99 percent of those who participated over the last couple of days” had been peaceful.

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I don't begrudge anyone their right to say whatever they want. I just come at this thread from the totally opposite point of view from most of the posters. Most of you don't care about Baltimore, you

Anyone reading this thread knows my point of view. I think a number of police officers essentially ended the life of a man who wasn't breaking any laws, and need to be held accountable for that crime.

Yes, that is an oversimplification, and likely also a mischaracterization.    People aren't arguing that environment doesn't have a large influence on your life.  Most people are arguing that they're

No it's going to be worse than Ferguson, that city has a fraction of the population of Baltimore which is the 26th biggest city in the U.S.

Protests were fine until Saturday when things went completely wrong. When criminals start robbing the tunnel and bridge people coming into the city for events, you have a huge problem. No one was going to Ferguson to catch an opera or baseball game at the height of the problems there.

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Baltimore does have a history of rioting so I wouldn't be surprised if things melt down.

That said, I don't think there's the numbers or ground swell here for a total melt down. I'm guessing that there will be some isolated foolishness, but overall things will be relatively calm.

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

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Once people basically have no concern for lose all faith that the law is being justly applied, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

That too...combine the two and you've got Chaos (no stripper name pun intended).

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Same Malik Shabazz who would rather "burn this city to the ground" (Detroit) rather than let white supremacists take over - really an emergency financial manager to get Detroit out of bankruptcy.

Potayto/potaato.

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

I'm sure I'll get killed for this -- as I was in the Ferguson thread -- but I find it telling that when these criminal opportunists start damaging private property, the cops do nothing to stop them.

So much for "serve and protect."

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

I'm sure I'll get killed for this -- as I was in the Ferguson thread -- but I find it telling that when these criminal opportunists start damaging private property, the cops do nothing to stop them.

So much for "serve and protect."

That may have been an order from above:

“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.” -- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

I'm sure I'll get killed for this -- as I was in the Ferguson thread -- but I find it telling that when these criminal opportunists start damaging private property, the cops do nothing to stop them.

So much for "serve and protect."

There are just so many issues in these situations, both the obvious front-line issues (Police brutality/overuse of power, and criminal opportunists who make matters worse), but there are so many other issues.

- GOOD cops who probably feel like their job doesn't matter any more. There are cops who really are there to serve and protect, but when they put on that uniform in a city in turmoil, they're "just another cop." It's kind of a slap in the face.

- Mob mentality - It's hard for any small group of police to really even show up in a scene like the ones in the video above. You have to show up with overwhelming force to even make a difference, or else you just make matters worse.

- The Us vs. Them - The thing that I think scared me about those videos was that it wasn't protests, it wasn't anti-police...the violence was mostly black-on-white. Admittedly, the violence was probably a lot of "I'll just throw stuff because I can and get away with it," but it looked like racial undertones were very prominent.

I think DD hit the nail on the head when he noted that Baltimore >>> Furgueson. When you get these kinds of things going on at the Inner Harbor, with mobs attacking groups of people taking their kids to a ball game, or eating at a restaurant on the sidewalk, it's going to heat up really quickly. It's not like this is limited to some low-income area. In Baltimore, however, they're just blocks apart. It's just a no-win situation. You either have to increase police presence, which only magnifies the situations for police brutality, which will already be microscopically viewed by everyone, OR you just let the mobs run rampant, which leads to vigilante justice from business owners, etc.

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

I'm sure I'll get killed for this -- as I was in the Ferguson thread -- but I find it telling that when these criminal opportunists start damaging private property, the cops do nothing to stop them.

So much for "serve and protect."

That may have been an order from above:

“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.” -- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

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Interesting tactic. I wonder if someone who was injured in that fracas feels the same way? I mean, it does send an odd message. "We're OK with you going crazy and destroying some stuff. Within reason please."

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The town of Ferguson has all kinds of dysfunctionalism. No matter what you think of the events there I think everyone could see that.

But what are the officials in Baltimore doing wrong, exactly? The officers have been suspended, there's a black police chief and a black mayor, there's an investigation, what are they supposed to be doing? What are the protestors calling for that hasn't been done?

I just hope they don't force any Orioles games to be postponed, that would be a real tragedy.

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I was cut off from most of the news over the weekend. This is getting really bad. People just don't care anymore. I guess what strikes me from those videos is that about 1/2 of the people are just media or people with cameras, and the folks actually committing crimes could care less that they are being video-taped from every angle. Once people basically have no concern for the law, it becomes a slippery slope. :(

I'm sure I'll get killed for this -- as I was in the Ferguson thread -- but I find it telling that when these criminal opportunists start damaging private property, the cops do nothing to stop them.

So much for "serve and protect."

That may have been an order from above:

While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and thats what you saw. -- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

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They do that in Oakland as well. They don't deem to in SF though. SF has become more gentrified though so maybe that has something to do with it.

Sucks for small business owners.

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If you've ever been to Baltimore you should know already that it's F 'd. You have a very large portion of the populace that already lives in an area with little to zero police presence. There are pockets of areas where it's essentially the Wild West.

If you've ever seen the episode of the wire where they allow the crime to happen in certain areas, it's not that far from the truth.

Baltimore is also one of the most racially decided cities in the US. There are entire neighborhoods of whites and blacks, segregated by the choice of those residents. Blacks won't sell to white and white won't sell to black.

If it blows up in Baltimore it's going to get very ugly.

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I just hope they don't force any Orioles games to be postponed, that would be a real tragedy.

About the Orioles...

The Orioles closed the gates at Oriole Park Oriole Park late Saturday night and forced fans to remain inside for their own safety as violent protesters continued to menace the area around the ballpark, causing both consternation and understanding in the stadium concourses. (Link)

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No it's going to be worse than Ferguson, that city has a fraction of the population of Baltimore which is the 26th biggest city in the U.S.

Protests were fine until Saturday when things went completely wrong. When criminals start robbing the tunnel and bridge people coming into the city for events, you have a huge problem. No one was going to Ferguson to catch an opera or baseball game at the height of the problems there.

I guess my view of this issues is as colored by my affection for Baltimore as Dr. Detroit's is by his hatred of most things Maryland.

But my belief is that Saturday night is as bad as it's going to get, and that wasn't very bad.

Most of the day was a great success with thousands of people peacefully exercising their right of free speech and public assembly and the police letting it happen, while still maintaining order. It was as the main event ended that a few dozen young kids took advantage of the situation to begin smashing as much crap as they could. Which again, wasn't very much. Most of the miscreants were arrested, the vandalism ended, and that was it.

Somehow 45,000 people managed to make it to yesterday's Orioles game without any problem. There were no more demonstrations and no more window smashing.

Today is the funeral. Again, I expect a very appropriate protest with little or no violence or lawbreaking. I also expect that any isolated instances of a punk kid smashing a cop car window because he thinks he can get away with it in the context of the larger protests taking place will become the lead item on the news, used to falsely depict a city in the grip of racial turmoil and riots.

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Bloods, crips, and black gorilla family enter a pact to take out Baltimore cops.

I only report this because of my hatred for Maryland. :mellow:

I hate the taxes, how it's run and the cost, it's a fine state otherwise.

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I just hope they don't force any Orioles games to be postponed, that would be a real tragedy.

About the Orioles...

The Orioles closed the gates at Oriole Park Oriole Park late Saturday night and forced fans to remain inside for their own safety as violent protesters continued to menace the area around the ballpark, causing both consternation and understanding in the stadium concourses. (Link)

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The gates were closed for like 10-15 minutes. I think people are making a bigger deal out of it than it was.

Also those fans were trying to leave after the Orioles fell behind in extra innings, and the Orioles mounted a comeback to win the game as the gates were reopened. Those lame fair-weather fans should thank the city!

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Bloods, crips, and black gorilla family enter a pact to take out Baltimore cops.

I only report this because of my hatred for Maryland. :mellow:

I hate the taxes, how it's run and the cost, it's a fine state otherwise.

Yes, the Baltimore Police issued this same scary threat in December regarding the BGF, only for it later to be deemed not credible.

What possible reason could the BPD have for putting out press releases that cast them in a sympathetic light - while Freddie Grey's funeral is literally taking place?

I've lived here for 16 years. I worked downtown, adjacent to the West side, for a half-dozen years. All I can tell you is what my experience is. I think a couple dozen teen punks marred what was otherwise a very powerful moment of solidarity on Saturday, and I don't think the city is poised for an explosion.

As far as the Saturday night Orioles game goes, the city asked the team to tell people to stay in the park and they complied. The request was lifted less than 30 minutes later and not a single assault was reported. Yesterday was a sellout crowd - Little League Day - with 45,000 people walking the streets without a single issue.

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I don't know why you are directing your anger towards me, I didn't smash your car window with a cone. It was the guy who looked like me. :mellow:

Sorry if I seem angry at you, I'm not. But I was frustrated by the coverage of the day, which made it seem like a riot was raging in the streets of Baltimore when it was not. Though I understand why a picture of a guy smashing a cop car window is far more compelling than a picture of an inter-racial group of people linking arms and peacefully marching down a street.

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Why does DD hate Maryland? Granted our taxes are high and our politics are left of left, but we have a pretty diverse topography, population, good schools, and good paying jobs. We are within easy driving distance of the greatest city in the world, the seat of power in the world, and one of the most historically significant cities in our country. We get fairly equal amounts of all four seasons (summers and winters are a bit longer than fall and spring), without be inundated by one in particular. I get that Maryland is not the kind of state you'd want to retire in, but it's a great place to raise your kids.

Maryland rules!

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Bloods, crips, and black gorilla family enter a pact to take out Baltimore cops.

I only report this because of my hatred for Maryland. :mellow:

I hate the taxes, how it's run and the cost, it's a fine state otherwise.

Yes, the Baltimore Police issued this same scary threat in December regarding the BGF, only for it later to be deemed not credible.

What possible reason could the BPD have for putting out press releases that cast them in a sympathetic light - while Freddie Grey's funeral is literally taking place?

Whether a Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla alliance actually exists and whether such an alliance poses a legitimate threat to the Baltimore PD is open to debate, but this picture from Saturday suggests that there likely is some alliance or at least a moratorium on tension during the current protests.

PIC

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Why does DD hate Maryland? Granted our taxes are high and our politics are left of left, but we have a pretty diverse topography, population, good schools, and good paying jobs. We are within easy driving distance of the greatest city in the world, the seat of power in the world, and one of the most historically significant cities in our country. We get fairly equal amounts of all four seasons (summers and winters are a bit longer than fall and spring), without be inundated by one in particular. I get that Maryland is not the kind of state you'd want to retire in, but it's a great place to raise your kids.

Maryland rules!

Obviously I hate Maryland because they don't teach reading comprehension in schools.
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Why does DD hate Maryland? Granted our taxes are high and our politics are left of left, but we have a pretty diverse topography, population, good schools, and good paying jobs. We are within easy driving distance of the greatest city in the world, the seat of power in the world, and one of the most historically significant cities in our country. We get fairly equal amounts of all four seasons (summers and winters are a bit longer than fall and spring), without be inundated by one in particular. I get that Maryland is not the kind of state you'd want to retire in, but it's a great place to raise your kids.

Maryland rules!

Obviously I hate Maryland because they don't teach reading comprehension in schools.

I was educated in Michigan!

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Bloods, crips, and black gorilla family enter a pact to take out Baltimore cops.

I only report this because of my hatred for Maryland. :mellow:

I hate the taxes, how it's run and the cost, it's a fine state otherwise.

Yes, the Baltimore Police issued this same scary threat in December regarding the BGF, only for it later to be deemed not credible.

What possible reason could the BPD have for putting out press releases that cast them in a sympathetic light - while Freddie Grey's funeral is literally taking place?

Whether a Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla alliance actually exists and whether such an alliance poses a legitimate threat to the Baltimore PD is open to debate, but this picture from Saturday suggests that there likely is some alliance or at least a moratorium on tension during the current protests.

PIC

Isn't it a good thing if gang members finally agree to stop killing each other?

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Why does DD hate Maryland? Granted our taxes are high and our politics are left of left, but we have a pretty diverse topography, population, good schools, and good paying jobs. We are within easy driving distance of the greatest city in the world, the seat of power in the world, and one of the most historically significant cities in our country. We get fairly equal amounts of all four seasons (summers and winters are a bit longer than fall and spring), without be inundated by one in particular. I get that Maryland is not the kind of state you'd want to retire in, but it's a great place to raise your kids.

Maryland rules!

Obviously I hate Maryland because they don't teach reading comprehension in schools.

I was educated in Michigan!

Well that explains it. :mellow:
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Bloods, crips, and black gorilla family enter a pact to take out Baltimore cops.

I only report this because of my hatred for Maryland. :mellow:

I hate the taxes, how it's run and the cost, it's a fine state otherwise.

Yes, the Baltimore Police issued this same scary threat in December regarding the BGF, only for it later to be deemed not credible.

What possible reason could the BPD have for putting out press releases that cast them in a sympathetic light - while Freddie Grey's funeral is literally taking place?

Whether a Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla alliance actually exists and whether such an alliance poses a legitimate threat to the Baltimore PD is open to debate, but this picture from Saturday suggests that there likely is some alliance or at least a moratorium on tension during the current protests.

PIC

Isn't it a good thing if gang members finally agree to stop killing each other?

Yes, but not if it signifies an agreement to kill police instead.

Better yet, how about just the following?

"Isn't it a good thing if gang members finally agree to stop killing each other?"

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Well, I might be wrong. Police and media seem intent on creating a riot situation around here.

A bunch of high school kids just left school, marching "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and the cops responded with the SWAT team like it's a riot. So now the kids are throwing rocks at the cops and another defenseless 7-11 window just got smashed.

Meanwhile, half the offices in downtown Baltimore just closed and sent their workers home early.

Will really suck if things get sucky around here.

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Damn...you know Baltimore has to be pretty bad if someone from Detroit is openly dogging it.

Says the guy from the inland empire of hell. Those in glass meth labs...
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Well, I might be wrong. Police and media seem intent on creating a riot situation around here.

A bunch of high school kids just left school, marching "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and the cops responded with the SWAT team like it's a riot. So now the kids are throwing rocks at the cops and another defenseless 7-11 window just got smashed.

Meanwhile, half the offices in downtown Baltimore just closed and sent their workers home early.

Will really suck if things get sucky around here.

Rocks and bricks? It's a good thing those guys are wearing riot gear.

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Well, I might be wrong. Police and media seem intent on creating a riot situation around here.

A bunch of high school kids just left school, marching "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and the cops responded with the SWAT team like it's a riot. So now the kids are throwing rocks at the cops and another defenseless 7-11 window just got smashed.

Meanwhile, half the offices in downtown Baltimore just closed and sent their workers home early.

Will really suck if things get sucky around here.

Rocks and bricks? It's a good thing those guys are wearing riot gear.

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Damn...you know Baltimore has to be pretty bad if someone from Detroit is openly dogging it.

Says the guy from the inland empire of hell. Those in glass meth labs...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/11/15/24-7-wall-st-safest-cities/18933099/

Live in the 2nd safest city in the U.S.

Wife works in the 1st.

But don't let me stop you from mocking Baltimore.

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