First I want to make it very clear that I was not in Baltimore, Maryland, that I was not anywhere near, nor was I in the partition of the prisoner transport van that transported Freddie Gray following his arrest. Furthermore I have no inside knowledge of the events that transpired inside the van that day. Second I want to say that to the best of my knowledge no one else who is speaking out about this incident, although they may have been in Baltimore, were not anywhere near nor were they inside the partition of the prisoner transport van that transported Freddie Gray that day. Therefore they also have no inside knowledge of what happened inside the van that day in Baltimore. I can say this with absolute certainty because no one except Freddie Gray, who was inside the partition, knows what happened and he is no longer able to speak to the matter. So, since nobody knows what happened that day, why were so many thugs, excuse me, I meant misguided young people, engaged in rioting, looting, and burning?
Some have implied that this incident is similar to Ferguson, Missouri where protests erupted into rioting by thugs over the death of a black criminal by a white police officer who had an unrealistic wish to stay alive. Is it possible that some assumed the same facts had occurred in Baltimore? Another case of a white cop killing a black citizen while in police custody? Would one surmise that since maybe a black man had died at the hands of a white cop it was reasonable to begin protests over this unspoken and unproved allegation. Would it be further possible for others to assume this would be a good time to create mayhem by setting fires, damaging and stealing property? After all, who doesn’t want to get free stuff and who can pass up the joy and merriment of such a social gathering where one can intermingle with ones friends enjoying the warmth of a burning police car while comparing loot.?
Now for those of us not in Baltimore and not participating, we were fortunate that we had the likes of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake standing up on the podium and letting us known they were to give the rioters space to destroy. I am not sure if the space was defined or if it just meant they could go where ever they please, preferably where the pickings were good. Additionally, we were fortunate to have her not only correct her own misunderstanding but ours as well. We are lucky to now know that the rioters, burners, and looters were not thugs after all but merely misguided young people. I can’t help but wonder if this thought process is to carry forward after the unrest settles down. After the protesters go home, will it still be okay to rioter burn and loot when one feels the need to un-bottle some pent-up rage. Will they continue to give misguided young people free rein to go into any place of business and allow them to help themselves as they wish? This is important to know because if crime is no longer illegal in Baltimore, they can reduce the Police Department accordingly. Of course, since these acts will no longer be reportable crimes, the crime statistics in Baltimore will improve dramatically, showing the world what a good administrator Stephanie really is, assuring her re-election I am sure.
I can’t help but be skeptical with the quick announcement that six officers have been charged with various crimes as participants in the death of Freddie Gray. I can’t help but be skeptical it worked out that the group of charged people was both racially and gender diverse. The only thing missing is a white woman. I am not a statistician, but I wish a statistician would step forward and give the chance of such a diverse group as this actually happening. Of course, this certainly takes away the argument that this was a racially motivated crime. But I am sure that some will explain the unexpected result by pointing out that the African-Americans in the group are Uncle Tom’s and are just doing the white man’s bidding. I did not just make that up, I have heard it way too many times before.
But it is not over yet. There are at least three flash points were it can all blow up again. First there is the preliminary hearing whereby the State has to show there is enough evidence to believe a crime has been committed. At this point, should the judge decide there is not, the defendants would be released which of course could result in more protests and beyond. If the defendants are bound over to the Grand Jury and the Grand Jury decides to not indict the defendants, this of course could result in more protests or rioting. Finally, the officers could be acquitted at trial which would most probably result in protests, rioting, and looting. This goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway. The six charged officers are all American citizens and must be given the same rights and privileges given to any citizen accused of a crime. They have the right to reasonable bail, they have a right to a speedy trial, and most importantly, they are innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. So if anyone has already made up their minds, I urge them to wait until they have heard the evidence and know the facts and know the truth. You may have an opinion, but you certainly should not make a decision in your own mind until all the facts are known. Give these officers their day it court. It is just the right thing to do.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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