By Alan Caruba
Thanks to an infection and the antibiotics taken to rid myself of it, I have had several days of being able to do little more than watch the news on television, listen to it on the radio, and reading about it in my daily edition of The Wall Street Journal. If there was anything else happening in the world, you would not know it because it was 24-7 Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore.
Specifically, it was about the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a known drug dealer and user with an extensive rap sheet. There are different descriptions of the manner of his death, but the details of the autopsy are still obscure beyond a reference to having received a blow to his spine. This is attributed to having been placed in the police van, shackled hand and foot, but not having a safety belt applied.
The response from a certain element of Baltimoreans was to begin to loot, vandalize and set fire to their own neighborhoods by way of protesting alleged police brutality. This followed his funeral on Monday. The Mayor’s response was to tell the police to stand down and let the protesters have their way. When that predictably did not work, the National Guard was called in and a curfew imposed.
Capping these events was the indictment of the six arresting officers by the State’s Attorney General, Marilyn Mosby that included charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. That seemed to appease the mob that passes for Baltimore’s citizens.
I wish I could say I have sympathy for Freddie Gray and his family, but I don’t. I wish I could say that I feel sorry that Baltimore has been a state of decline and decay since the last riots in 1968, but no one asks why the trillions of dollars poured in comparable cities since the days of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” hasn’t demonstrated any results.
I wish I could say that the connecting factor between Baltimore, Detroit, and other Democrat-controlled cities was the primary reason that their citizens suffer unemployment, why their children attend schools that fail to teach them even fundamental skills, but what has evolved in these distressed cities is a culture that does not emphasize the traditional family, demand better education, and replaces the work ethic with the “entitlement” check. The Baltimore mother who chastised her son to keep him from participating in the riot is single and has five other children.
These cities are daily crime scenes. The riot was a crime scene.
And who is accused of Freddie Gray’s death? Members of the Baltimore Police Force who initially spotted Gray, a 25 year old with a criminal record, and went to investigate what they had observed. He ran. They ran after him. That’s what we want and expect our police to do.
The indictment, a purely political act intended to quell the angry mood of those Baltimoreans who protested by committing crimes, is an attack on every police officer in America. Most are good men and women, but like any other profession, there are some bad ones. The legion of police who protect us do not go around murdering suspects indiscriminately.
Tell that to State Attorney Mosby. Then consider that Freddie Gray’s attorney, William H. Murphy, Jr. donated $5,000 to her campaign. Consider that her husband, Nick Mosby, is a Baltimore city councilman with lots of reason to see the riots quelled.
What these cities and the decades reaching back to the 1960s all represent is a vocal resentment of police authority. Back then they were called “pigs.” America has been drifting away from the traditional respect and regard we have had for our police.
The problem isn’t the police.
It’s liberal notion that raising taxes and heavily regulating businesses large and small will somehow attract them to our cities. It doesn’t work that way. Our cities have become great dumping grounds for people who interest the Democratic Party only around election time.
And that is a problem for the police. It will be a growing problem for everyone if we cannot return to a decent respect for our police.
So, for now, a pox on Baltimore and on all the politicians from the President on down who keep telling us the police are the problem, not the world of Freddie Gray’s roaming our city’s streets.
© Alan Caruba, 2015
I too am frustrated by a culture of disrespect.
As an outside observer (White middle class conservative Canadian) I disagree with many of your points even though the frustration you express is very familiar to me.
You said . . .
> If there was anything else happening in the world, you would not know it because it was 24-7 Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore.
This media myopia is a big deal. It is as if the government or media wants more focus on lawless acts even though the crime rate continues to fall.
Could it be this is a distraction from the tendency of governments world wide to be reducing freedom of speech and freedom of assembly?
you said . . .
>Capping these events was the indictment of the six arresting officers by the State’s Attorney General, Marilyn Mosby that included charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
If we are agreed in our belief in the rule of law, then our peace offices MUST be held to a high standard.
I suggest we protect our peace officers, not by lowering this standard, but by making assault against a peach officer (like resisting arrest and other forms of assault) punishable by much stiffer punishments.
You state . . .
> I wish I could say I have sympathy for Freddie Gray
I am not there.
What ever problems led to his situation, he chose his life of crime.
One partial solution would be to give people an exit strategy. It could have been the military in years gone by. Currently 80% of applicants for the armed forces are denied.
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