In presenting the Justice Department’s negative findings about the Ferguson police department, Eric Holder characterized the violent and lawless response of Ferguson residents to the justified shooting of Michael Brown as an unsurprising reaction to the “highly toxic environment” created by the Ferguson police over the years. But in Baltimore — the un-Ferguson, where the mayor and police chief are Black, and Whites are a minority within the police department — we are now witnessing the same kind of violence and lawlessness as in the allegedly racist Missouri town.
Protesters should, within reason, have space to protest. They should never have space to destroy.
In fact, once a protest morphs into a rampage of destruction, it ceases to be a protest and becomes a riot. The peaceful protesters seemed to recognize this reality. According to reports, protest leaders have pleaded with rioters to desist. But absent a strong, effective police presence, their pleas were to no avail.
The Baltimore rioting has given the lie to Eric Holder’s left-wing Ferguson narrative. Rioting isn’t an understandable reaction to a “toxic” environment created by the police. It’s an opportunistic response by those of a criminal disposition to events that would not, and do not, cause decent people to engage in violence.
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