Protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, took a violent turn on Saturday, resulting in dozens of arrests and widespread property damage. During a recent press conference, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confirmed that the protesters were being given “space” to “destroy.”
“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on,” the mayor said of the protesters. “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”
Watch her remarks below at around 7:40:
Police later blamed the violence and criminal activity that occurred on “groups of outside agitators.”
Take a look at some of the chaos that unfolded in Baltimore on Saturday:
— KTLA (@KTLA) April 26, 2015
Gray died earlier this month from a spinal injury that he sustained while in police custody. The exact cause of the fatal injury remains unclear.
On Sunday, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said during another press conference that the city will support "peaceful demonstration."
"At the end of the day we are one Baltimore," she said. "We need to support peaceful demonstration and continue to enforce in our communities that rioting, violence, and looting will not be tolerated in our city. Together we can be one Baltimore and seek answers as we seek justice and as we seek peace."
(H/T: Right Scoop)