Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Comments on the Baltimore riots

I don't often like to comment on politically charged events here because I try to not focus on politics, but I'm going to break my own rule to comment on the latest riots in Baltimore.

The motivation behind them was a black suspect that was detained forcibly by police for violations of the law and died in police custody due to rather obvious medical negligence. To the extent that this was a deplorable incident in which this man died due to the police not caring about his welfare and he died due to their negligence, I utterly sympathize with the outrage.

My sympathy ends at the rioting, looting, and burning of an entire city. Peaceful protest is an honored tradition protected by law, and to that end, I support protest that does not disturb civil order, but to paraphrase Justice Holmes "the right to swing your fist ends where the other person's nose begins", and this was clearly defied when the protestors turned into a bunch of criminal thugs stealing from stores, burning vehicles, and fighting police and forces from the National Guard, who were only trying to restore public order. Many innocent people were screwed over by these criminals, and given all the damage they wrought, I have no sympathy for them, merely hoping they have been arrested and punished for their crimes against the people of Baltimore.

These riots, lootings, and burning of public and private property were no more justified in this case than they were after the Micheal Brown verdict, where more criminals used the fact they weren't happy with the verdict as a shitty excuse to commit crimes against the law abiding citizens of Ferguson as revenge for the legal system not giving them Darren Wilson's head on a platter.

In both cases, both riots were triggered by anger over apparent police misbehavior, and while I support the right to picket and protest such apparent abuse of police power, I condemn stepping over that line like the criminals in Baltimore and Ferguson did, and merely hope that those criminals were dealt with as criminals should be.

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