Third Party & Independents Archives

Rawlings-Blake Better Build Bridges

Have police in Baltimore responded to Mayor Rawlings-Blake loose hand with rioters in the wake of Freddie Gray riots in late April with a go-slow work policy? That is, are they now working to rule, so to speak, after 6 of them have been charged in the 25-year-old’s death while in custody? Or have criminals taken advantage of the perceived judicial leash on police in Baltimore to go on a crime rampage?

First things first. The 6 officer charged are evenly divided between white and black. As Dr. Ben Carson said, the city has a very diverse police force. So the race card will be played, and is being played, but it must be seen in perspective. Questions of race, like in Detroit, get raised from various perspectives, many touching on poverty and inner-city decay. But crime as a cause or as a consequence of such decay is the fundamental dividing line in urban crisis like Baltimore or Detroit. Agitators, whether political or criminal, seem drawn to violent riots to then prey on the torn fabric and fear that results from that very violence. And that breeds even more violence. Many cities have experienced downward spirals of violence and decay. Some have reversed that spiral - NYC being the most notable case - others have been unable. Baltimore seemed to have slowly been able to build the city back up to where tourists, local business, and most importantly the residents themselves, could enjoy what the city has to offer.

Can one incident like Freddie Gray's detention and death do such damage in such a short time? Yes, it can, but it may be too early to tell how permanent that damage will prove to be. Mayor Rawlings-Blake had better build some bridges with her men and women in blue if she wants her city to get back on it's feet. And how the trial of the Baltimore police officers plays out will clearly impact the lives of every resident of that city. Uncertainty reigns for now. And that is bad for business and the city's residents. The mayor needs to bring the kind of moral clarity in the face of violence that she lacked in late April, and that cost her town so dearly. Let's see if she's capable.

Posted by AllardK at May 29, 2015 7:40 PM
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