Rioting in Baltimore

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    This hits home to me since my younger son (27) lives in the city. He’s doing postgraduate work at Johns Hopkins University in the field of computer science. Much of what they’re working on has to do with speech recognition.

    There has been rioting and destruction of property. I’m naturally concerned for his safety, but so far I don’t think anyone has been seriously injured.

    Freddy Gray died while in police custody. It seems fishy to me, but we don’t know all the facts yet. And whether there was an injustice or not, what good does it do anyone to trash the city? How is that going to make anyone sympathetic to injustice in light of this unjust reaction? And let’s not forget Ferguson. A thug was killed in self defense, but lies were spread and believed which incited rioting and much devastation. Rioting is never a valid means of protesting, but especially so when it happens because of a falsehood. We don’t know the entire story yet.

    I don’t claim to have any answers, but it seems to me that it would make a huge difference if young men grew up with fathers in their homes and if they learned the value of things by working for them. So what if they don’t earn “minimum wage”? It would be better for them and everyone else for them to be occupied and learning something which would impart some self esteem and respect for the value of the property of others, than to be thugs.

    I’ll share some comments from my son over the past three days in response to my emails about the situation in Baltimore:


    Yeah! We live in a 1 mile radius of most of this, including the broken in windows. We actually saw some of the protest while out walking yesterday. At some point they started jumping on people’s cars and bashing them. When that happened we (and most of the people in the area) fled the area. Right after that, a large group of police came in and tried to secure the scene. I think the moments that followed are captured in some of the videos, like this compilation:


    I wouldn’t say it’s widespread. But the looting has been moving around the city. Yesterday it was the Inner Harbor (a relatively nice area). Today it’s NW Baltimore, about 3 miles from our apartment. The Baltimore PD has a twitter feed if you’re interested:

    I’ve been following that so that we’re not in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    JHU feels safe. I doubt the city will let anything happen there. Our apartment remains safe… I think the chances of anyone looting our apartment are close to 0. However, it looks like waves of rioters come through the mount vernon area occasionally. But like I said, I watch the Baltimore PD twitter feed so we know when we should or should not be out.


    We heard sirens yesterday, and smelled some smoke.

    The media is naturally focusing on the pictures that get them clicks (e.g., flaming cars) but it gives the impression that the entire city is thrown into chaos, burning to the ground… The vibe of the Drudge Report’s “RAMPAGE” depicting a Joker-esque dude basking in destruction doesn’t reflect my own experience just yet.

    Things are bad here, and stores have been looted and cars set on fire, but some perspective needs to be kept. Most of the bad stuff happened in the same few blocks, which is already a bad neighborhood. When riots did happen in a nice area (e.g., Fells Point / Inner Harbor) was at the beginning, before the police began to get a handle on things. At this point, I doubt very much that anything interesting is going to happen in the Inner Harbor or Mount Vernon… but I’m following the BPD Twitter feed just in case.


    Today, Wednesday 4/29, the protests have spread to other US cities, notably New York City, where arrests are taking place as I write this. I am concerned that this may blow-up in coming weeks and we may see the worst rioting in the US since Rodney King in L.A. in 1992, or even 1968, where the issue was multifaceted. Riots have a history in the US of being somewhat cyclical, and many can spread quite quickly. It could all calm down tomorrow, but on the other hand, history shows that the odds of that happening are not good. The 2015 riots are not really about a single event, it is pent-up emotions bursting through. My theory is since the U.S. is now in economic recovery (I think), the minority community is not feeling any recovery and now is the time make themselves heard. Interesting times we are living in, and I doubt this is just going to go away quietly.


    Or, it could have something to do with all the unarmed black men being killed or abused by the cops and being filmed doing it.


    Agreed, but I think a lot of factors are in play here, and your argument I think is a big part of it. However, overall, especially in many bigger cities in the midwest and east coast, the continued poverty also plays a part. Single parent families, lack of opportunities, neighborhoods with no quality grocery stores, etc. etc.


    For those that are interested, God has spoken on this matter;



    Oh that’s too easy!

    What I never understood is the strong fixation on the rioters. When there is a massive injustice, there will be unrest. And where that is building, there will be riots, violence, and all manner of acting out.

    Now, the usual line goes something like, “let’s handle this rationally” and what exactly was rational about how Baltimore was being run?

    None of it is right, but the dynamics are well known and proven.

    It’s all quite simply thuggery in response to crime, which is driven by the drug war, poverty and other basic issues.

    We don’t have much in the media on root causes. That’s sad.

    Because it will happen again, until we do have those root cause discussions and put rational, fact based, data driven remedies on the table.


    For those that are interested, God has spoken on this matter

    and He must be really ticked off. The angry face on your avatar makes me think, “I am the LORD thy God! You have angered me with your sinful, unrepentant ways. I shall rain misery and mayhem upon thee!”

    Try a Web search on “are the riots a message from god” and see what comes up.


    One would think a being of such power, capability and understanding would not demonstrate the emotional stability and maturity of a 5 year old.


    One would think a being of such power, capability and understanding would not demonstrate the emotional stability and maturity of a 5 year old.

    Well, there is that.

    I think that the “beauty” of this “God is mad at us” argument is that the people who make it are never wrong about the reasons why God is angry. For example, if God is angry about LGBT people, is He angry that they are becoming more accepted by society, or is He angry about the cruel treatment that they have received in the recent past? Take your pick. If God is angry about economic issues, is He angry that there are some people who are allowed to be extremely poor, or is He angry that some countries are moving in a “socialist” direction. Or, is He angry that humans invented money in the first place? Have fun!


    Seems that no matter how much money ” the collective we” throw at a problem, it many times never really totally solves the problems . Baltimore has one of the highest per capita government provided spending profiles ‘per person’ than any other place in America. School kids, other persons and homeless/poverty programs, outreach and public services .

    My understanding is that in the city Baltimore ( city programs) and in conjunction with other programs provided by the State of Maryland, a single mother of 2 or more can qualify for benefits from seven different welfare programs. The composite value of these benefits is said to be around 35,000 year.

    I am going to check this out further. But it wouldn’t surprise me to find out this is roughly accurate. Their Police force is 50 % of ethnic or black persons, the police admin is predominately black, same for the city council, city admin / agencies and public school districts .


    And to the injustice…we don’t know yet..but..its seems there is evidence that Mr. Gray was beating his head against the inside wall of the Police van while being transported to Jail. As witnessed by another prisoner in the van. Also, it is likely that there was a camera in that van for some kind of video evidence as well. The full report has been sent to the MD states atty general today . Full public disclosure may delayed until the weekend or next week due to the fear that the ‘outcome’ may produce another riot.


    If he was doing that, the do no harm doctrine would require intervention.

    That is standard practice in many organizations, including some I have good knowledge of here in PDX.

    Deane Johnson

    Now that the liberals have already hung the cops by the neck until dead, it’s beginning to look like the cops had nothing to do with his death. Still too early to know for sure, but the fat lady apparently hasn’t sang yet.


    Still too early to know for sure, but the fat lady apparently hasn’t sang yet.

    It may in fact be very true.
    I hope it is honestly.

    But facts remain;

    The report that he injured himself was leaked by the Baltimore Police.

    It is certainly a theory they’d rather have out there.

    It doesn’t help quell suspicion that the Baltimore Police will not release the report to the public.

    If there was something in there to exonerate them, you’d think they’d want that out there.

    Contrary to Police policy, Gray was bound but not seat belted when put in the police van.

    To Missing’s point, had procedure been followed and he had been belted, could he have injured himself, if that’s indeed what happened?

    Baltimore has an ugly history of police brutality.


    In the video when he is being dragged away, it looks to me like he’s already got some sort of back injury. His legs don’t look right.

    And I’ll wait for a more independent review. I don’t trust anything the police put out there anymore.

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