Tags: Baltimore Riots | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Baltimore | riots | Freddie Gray | police

St. Louis Official: Baltimore's Hands-Off Approach Enabled Thugs

By    |   Tuesday, 28 April 2015 08:05 PM

Rampaging protesters in Baltimore got the green light to wreak havoc by the retreat of cops in full riot gear, says Jeff Roorda, a spokesman for the St. Louis Police Officers Association and former Missouri state representative.

"It emboldens the violent elements in that protest. It contributes to the mob mentality and it's a dangerous approach," Roorda said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"The best way to keep peaceful protesters and people in the neighborhood and business owners safe is a show of police force and police readiness.

"It is a delicate balance, but law enforcement in this country is very capable of striking that balance," Roorda said.

The rioting exploded Monday, hours after thousands mourned the death of Freddie Gray, an African American man who died from a severe spinal injury he suffered after being placed in police custody.

Critics say Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake essentially gave permission to rioters to engage in violence by saying the city gave "those who wished to destroy space to do that…" Those words, in effect, told police to stand down, some believe.

Roorda is not sure whether the city has seen the last of the unrest.

"These things tend to take on a life of their own. The violent elements in the crowd that tend to co-opt these demonstrations really probably are pretty happy with the way things worked out," he said.

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Rampaging protestors in Baltimore got the green light to wreak havoc by the retreat of cops in full riot gear, says Jeff Roorda, a spokesman for the St. Louis Police Officers Association and former Missouri state representative.
Baltimore, riots, Freddie Gray, police, blacks, stealing, ransacking
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2015-05-28
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 08:05 PM
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