Baltimore, or at least a piece of it, has burned. Just as in Ferguson, MO, bands of thugs attacked, burned, looted and robbed. And police acknowledge that many of these criminals are 'outsiders'; they just came to destroy.

All of this started with the death of a black man named Freddie Gray. Gray died on April 19 of a spinal injury allegedly sustained while in the custody of Baltimore police. While police have admitted Gray did not receive 'timely' medical care, the entire incident remains under investigation. Looters armed with rocks, bricks and more went on a rampage following Gray's funeral on Sunday. During a press conference Rawlings-Blake gave us a prime example of why words matter.

I've watched this video no less than half a dozen times and I still hear the same thing: the mayor of Baltimore giving a pass to thugs who were looting, robbing, burning and otherwise destroying an entire neighborhood, maybe even the whole city. On April 27, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said during a press conference (YouTube video below) that she "worked with the police...and instructed them to do everything they could" to see that their (protestors) free speech was protected.  Then, the stunning words "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well".  The remark comes at about the 7:40 mark:

I've been going over this press conference audio trying to decipher just what she really meant. Was she afraid that if police engaged the rioters intent on stopping them that things would only escalate? Did she feel that some damage was OK if it meant no one else got killed? Could she have meant to say something else? Howard Libit, a spokesman for the mayor told The Daily Caller that the mayor's words were 'taken out of context' :

What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday. Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate. The police sought to balance the rights of the peaceful demonstrators against the need to step in against those who were seeking to create violence.

No, Mr. spokesman, I don't think so. What I think happened here is a classic case of alligator mouth overrides parakeet ass. In trying to be the politically correct liberal leader she's told she must be (as most liberals do) she managed to make a statement that is beyond the pale. What her intent may have been is just no longer relevant, I'm afraid. She gave what appears to be a very poorly executed press conference and without even flinching told the rioting, looting masses of thugs to have a good 'ol time. She gave no expression that it was just an 'oops' moment. Our First Amendment right free speech does not give anyone the right to do what these thugs have done. You'd think the mayor would know that, wouldn't you? After all, she does hold a law degree.

Rawlings-Blake finally called the governor asking for backup from the State National Guard to deal with the rioters, but she's under fire for this stunningly stupid statement. She's an educated woman and she should know better. She knew what was happening in her city. She knew the lives and livelihoods of many citizens were being destroyed. In times like these, the words of elected leaders matter. And their words have consequences.

Baltimore, you really should look into getting a new mayor. You deserve better.

The destruction in Baltimore caught on video:

WARNING! Some of the footage contains NSFW language