Baltimore Mayor's Ill-Chosen Words Made Things Worse
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake under fire for 'wished to destroy' remark
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2015 1:04 PM CDT
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – On Saturday, Baltimore's mayor described a "very delicate balancing act" of allowing people to protest and maintaining order in the wake of Freddie Gray's death. "We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. At the Daily Beast, Michael Daly argues that the latter statement essentially gave protesters permission to unleash yesterday's violence. "This time those who wished to destroy just kept destroying and destroying," he writes. The mayor has since accused the media of taking her words out of context, and she also criticized the "thugs" wreaking havoc on the city.

"She seemed deaf to the echo of her own words, when she had spoken earlier of giving room to 'those who wish to destroy,'" writes Daly. "That is a pretty good definition of a thug." Ian Tuttle at the National Review also criticizes the line, writing that it "will serve nicely as law and order's epitaph." On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski adds, “I don’t know how you can take that out of context," reports Mediaite. "It’s just something she shouldn’t have said.” The mayor's office elaborates: "What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. ... The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement."