Insiders Say Mayor Told Police to Stand Down as Baltimore Burned

AP Photo
AP Photo

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is again under suspicion for having taken a position that allowed rioters to burn her city down without opposition from police. This time, insiders are reporting that the mayor told police to keep hands off the protesters and to stand down in the face of the growing violence.

On Wednesday a senior law enforcement source said that the mayor essentially told police to stand down from attempting to prevent the rioting.

According to Fox News, when the insider was asked if it was the mayor who ordered police not to respond to being pelted with rocks and bottles, the source said, “You are God damn right it was.”

This is only one of several times that Mayor Rawlings-Blake has gotten herself in hot water during this crisis. In one case, during a Saturday press conference she blurted out that she had given rioters space to destroy if they wanted to.

On April 25, Rawlings-Blake proudly told the media, “we gave those who wished to destroy space to do that, as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate. And that’s what you saw.”

Two days later, the mayor claimed that she was somehow misinterpreted and insisted that she did not give rioters space to destroy–exactly the opposite of what she said on Saturday.

Also, after catching criticism for calling the rioters “thugs,” Rawlings-Blake backtracked from that rhetoric. The mayor took to Twitter to say, “I wanted to clarify my comments on ‘thugs.’ When you speak out of frustration and anger, one can say things in a way that you don’t mean.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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