Sun Is Shining On Baltimore Today; Trouble May Continue In Coming Days, Or Not

BALTIMORE SUN PHOTO

BALTIMORE SUN PHOTO

Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox game is being played to an empty stadium in Camden Yards Wednesday afternoon. Game closed to public after trouble in the streets on Monday and Tuesday. For more breaking news, see BaltimoreSun.com

Some interesting numbers, also from The Sun:

“Amid the chaos on Monday, 15 police officers were injured. Area hospitals reported at least 33 people were hurt Monday night.

About 235 people were arrested Monday, including 34 juveniles. In addition, police said, 144 vehicle fires and 15 structural fires were set.”

Anytime people are injured, it’s a sad day. Some of the police injuries were quite serious. The number of fires during the rioting is frightful, although not all can be connected with rioting. The widely publicized photos and videos of burning buildings and cars perhaps created a distorted image, making the unrest seem even worse than it was.

Note that not a single death has been reported so far. In other words, it could have been a lot worse.

Of course the original protests stem from the death of Freddie Gray at police hands. The case is still under investigation, and some sort of report is expected Friday.

Not to make light of Monday night’s events, I don’t believe this qualifies as a major riot. Hospitals reported 33 injuries and no deaths. Some 235 people were arrested, but I don’t know how many of those were charged with a crime.

Ten people were reported arrested Tuesday night, seven of them for curfew violations.

A general consensus seems to have developed that much of the looting Monday night was the work of “opportunists,” who were taking advantage of chaos. Some observers have reported identifying “outside agitators,” some of whom may also have been present at the unrest in Ferguson and other places. Maybe some of the looters and agitators can fairly be called “thugs.”

Many of the people in the streets Monday were high school students and even middle school students. They are not criminals or thugs, simply angry students voicing their anger in the only way available to them.

Of course there is much second-guessing and criticism of the actions of elected leaders and police. I think the consensus is that police recognized that many if not most of the people in the streets Monday night were juveniles, and police acted with restraint to avoid inflicting injuries.

A schedule of protests scheduled for Wednesday through the weekend, as reported by The Sun, is here. 

— John Hayden

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