Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a stunning admission Saturday in the aftermath of violent protests over the recent death of Freddie Gray, saying she wanted to give space to those “who wished to destroy.”
And destroy, some did.
Numerous storefronts and vehicles were damaged and businesses were looted at the tail end of a day of demonstrations. Thirty-four people were arrested and six police officers suffered minor injuries. Baseball fans attending a game at Camden Yards were told to stay inside the ballpark until violence outside of the stadium subsided.
“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,” Rawlings-Blake said during a press conference Saturday night.
“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 gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”