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Ben Carson: Residents Must 'Act Quickly' to Heal Baltimore

By    |   Wednesday, 29 April 2015 10:07 PM

Republican presidential hopeful and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that "it's going to be important going forward for responsible citizens to be able to act quickly" to quell the unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

"It's tough to see this happening, and to see people basically being manipulated into doing things that clearly don't make any sense," Carson, who has lived in Baltimore for 36 years, told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "Here's a city that hasn't fully recovered from the '68 riots, and in the same area, now we're exacerbating the situation.

"It's painful to see that happen in any of our cities, particularly when we know that people can think beyond that and that they have people who are agitating them," he added. "There are responsible citizens also, and they abound."

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Carson, 63, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the White House on Monday, retired in 2013 as chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. He is co-founder and president of the nonprofit Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to students for academic achievement and humanitarian efforts.

His latest book, "A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties," is due out in October. Carson's wife of nearly 40 years, Candy, is the book's co-author.

Last year, Carson's "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future" debuted at No. 1 on the best-seller list of The New York Times.

Baltimore has been under curfew since Tuesday after violence erupted after the Monday funeral of Gray, 25, who died of severe spinal injuries sustained while in police custody. More than 200 people were arrested.

Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan imposed the curfew, lasting from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and it brought 35 arrests on the first night. In addition, 2,000 National Guard personnel remained stationed throughout the area.

Residents protested peacefully Wednesday, while similar demonstrations were held in New York City and Boston.

Gray's death marked the latest of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of police, after similar incidents in New York; Ferguson, Missouri; North Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities.

Carson, who was raised with his older brother by a single mother in Detroit, attributed the turmoil in Baltimore to factors that included poverty, high unemployment, strained relations between blacks and police — and the situation surrounding Gray's death.

"All those components were involved," he told Hayworth. "You had a young man who died under extremely suspect circumstances. No question about that.

"There's a lot of poverty there, a lot of frustration — as it is in many of our inner cities across the country. Are there some police officers who are not above board? Of course there are, everywhere, just like there are in medicine and in pretty much every profession. A combination of those things can cause trouble."

It doesn't help when people outside Baltimore come in to create friction, Carson added.

"Particularly when you add to the mix outside agitators," he said. "A large part of this was caused by that — and I was particularly proud to see that there were a number of people from the Baltimore community."

He praised residents who worked to shield police from protesters on Monday during the heavy violence.

"A lot of the men that came out and they stood between the crowd and the police to prevent hostile interactions from taking place," Carson said. "Those are the kind of people that I'm familiar with in Baltimore: people who actually think and take responsibility."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Republican presidential hopeful and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV Wednesday that "it's going to be important going forward for responsible citizens to be able to act quickly" to quell the unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray...
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2015-07-29
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 10:07 PM
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