The Consequences of “Space to Destroy”

When President Obama finally spoke today about the riots in Baltimore, he attempted to strike a balance between condemnation of those committing violence in the streets and criticism of the police who are also sometimes guilty of misconduct. He was also right when he noted that the problems in our inner cities are bigger than the discussion about police misconduct or racial prejudice. But these exemplary statements must be placed in the context of an event in which the nation witnessed portions of a major American city in the hands of a mob while police cowered or retreated. What stands out most as the citizens and police of Baltimore try desperately to take back control of their city from looters and thugs is the failure of those in authority to protect them. And responsibility for that failure extends from a mayor who wished to give the rioters the “space to destroy” as well as a president and attorney general that have at times sent a message to the nation that a war on police was understandable and even justified.

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The Consequences of “Space to Destroy”

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