We now have stark statistical evidence how utterly counter-productive race riots are: riots by blacks in Ferguson and Baltimore end up hurting blacks the most.
In the case of Baltimore, a majority-black city of roughly 623,000, the riots began on April 25, 2015, 6 days after the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man with a long rap-sheet who had been arrested a week before. Though seen to be in apparent good health at his arrest, Gray later sustained injuries to his spine and larynx, and fell into a coma, never to regain consciousness despite multiple surgical attempts. On April 21, 2015, pending an investigation of the incident, six Baltimore police officers were temporarily suspended with pay.
The riots plunged Baltimore, the largest city in the State of Maryland, into a state of emergency, wracked by rioting, burning, and looting. 15 buildings were burnt down and many others damaged and looted; 144 cars burnt; pharmacies were looted for drugs; at least 15 police officers were injured; some 200 people were arrested; schools were closed. Business owners, including black owners, fled for their lives, and looters just took what they wanted. One shop-owner said he called police 50 times, but no one came. (Daily Mail)
What began as protests quickly conflagrated into violent riots, in part because the protesters understood Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s comment, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,” as a permission to riot. (See “A movie becomes real: Baltimore race riots understood mayor’s words as permission to Purge“)
On May 1, 2015, the city filed charges against the six police officers after the medical examiner’s report ruled Gray’s death a homicide as a result of a ‘rough ride’ – a form of police brutality in which a victim is helplessly thrown around by deliberately abrupt driving while unable to keep themselves safe due to use of restraints. Three of the officers are facing manslaughter charges. One officer, ironically a black officer named Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the van that transported Gray to the police station, faces an additional count of second degree depraved-heart murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
The riots’ aftermath was a state of anarchy in Baltimore — in which homicides spiked, police presence was scarce, and residents lived in fear, especially in black neighborhoods. For that matter, the crime spike was not just in Baltimore and Ferguson, but nationwide.
Now, we have statistical evidence of the dramatic and bloody changes in post-riot Baltimore.
The Economist reports, Nov. 21, 2015, that since the riots, Baltimore has had a 78% increase in homicides — 244 homicides — over the same period in 2014, which is more than 100 additional deaths. On November 14th the police department reported the city’s 300th homicide in 2015, a total not seen since 1999. The surge in killings can be pinpointed to have begun after Gray’s death.
Criminologists and city officials disagree as to the causes:
- Some say police have deliberately pulled back from poor, black neighbourhoods, a theory that the police disputes.
- Others blame an influx of drugs from pharmacies looted during the April riots.
- A third theory is that a decline in trust between the police and the policed has had deadly consequences: fewer residents talk to the police, which leads to fewer murders being solved, which—by lowering the odds of being caught—results in more murders.
Whatever the reason, the killing continues. Just hours after the 300th murder, police reported a shooting in the city’s Westport neighbourhood, the fourth homicide of the day. The total for the year now stands at 305.
- Who is Freddie Gray?
- Defenders of Baltimore Race Riots
- Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide. 6 Baltimore cops in custody
- Allen West: Baltimore is not an American failure. Baltimore is a DEMOCRAT failure
- #BlackLivesMatter is a War on Police leading to complete breakdown of social order
- 50 Baltimore Black “teens” beat 61 y.o. white man almost to death
- Billionaire George Soros spent $33M bankrolling Ferguson demonstrators to create ‘echo chamber’ and drive national protests