This morning, as the Baltimore Fire Department puts out the last of the blazes that burned overnight, and looting has subsided to a minimum thanks to the overnight appearance of the Maryland National Guard, the residents of Baltimore are coming out of their houses to clean up and rebuild.
Looted storefronts were being boarded up, burned cars hauled away and as many as 15 police officers recovering from injuries suffered during the rioting that broke out when high school kids used social media to launch a coordinated “Purge,” the slang term taken from a movie and meaning a night where laws are not observed.
Amid the rioting Monday night that led to 200 arrests, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake strongly condemned the “thugs” behind the mayhem and announced a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew beginning Tuesday and lasting at least a week.
“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” the mayor said. “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”
As of 11 hours ago, fifteen officers has been injured. In a very small miracle, the gang war that was threatened did not materialize, and though some of the injuries were serious, at least early on, they were the result of unruly young adults with little connection to each other other than through social media. Later into the night, the same kids began to post photographs of what they’d obtained, also on social media. As of today, the hashtags are being monitored closely for action, and the producers and direcctors of The Purge, a low budget horror movie about a night where law enforcement is suspended in the name of population control and income redistribution, have their sequel script written for them.
I know, it’s terrible to joke, but we need some levity. And we can’t get it all from this angry Baltimore mother taking her son to task after finding him throwing rocks at police.
And we certainly aren’t getting any reassuring statements from the media. As Baltimore burned last night, many members of the cable news cadre were doing their best to excuse the violence, which, by prime time, had long since escalated from mere political agitation into senseless destruction. As cameras rolled on burning cars and broken plate glass windows, Vox.com and others on cable news (catalogued meticulously by Hot Air’s Noah Rothman) worked themselves into a lather trying to excuse the violence. Even though it was clear that those on the street had little to do with providing a voice to the voiceless, they continued to justify calling for violence in response to Freddie Gray’s death.
Later this morning, we will hear from President Obama on the topic of Baltimore’s riots.