Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake strongly condemned the violent “thugs” who were rioting in the city streets on Monday, issuing a mandatory curfew and clarifying her recent remarks about protesters who wish to “destroy.”
In addition to the governor of Maryland agreeing to deploy the National Guard in Baltimore, the mayor said residents will be subjected to a week-long, mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., which could be extended if need be. However, the curfew doesn't go into effect until Tuesday night.
Rawlings-Blake also rebuked the media for what she called a mischaracterization of her words about giving protesters “space.”
For context, here’s exactly what she said over the weekend:
“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, 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.”
During a press conference on Monday, she clarified those remarks.
“I made it very clear that we balance a very fine line between giving peaceful protesters space to protest. What I said is, in doing so, people can hijack that and use that space for bad,” the mayor said. “I did not say that we were accepting of it, I did not say we were passive to it. I was just explaining how property damage can happen during a peaceful protest. It is very unfortunate that members of your industry decided to mischaracterize my words and try to use it as a way to say that we are inciting violence, there is no such thing.”
Rawlings-Blake also said officers were not ordered to “hold back” on violent so-called “protesters.”