Some of the protests in Baltimore, Maryland, over the police-related death of Freddie Gray have morphed into vandalism.
According to The Baltimore Sun, 35 people were arrested and six police officers were injured during protests over the weekend. The vandalism damage included several storefronts, police cars and other property destruction.
On April 26, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and 25 local clergy called for peace.
Rawlings-Blake held a press conference in which she admitted to asking the police to give people a space to "destroy," noted Fusion.net (video below).
"And I've made it very clear that I worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It's a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars, and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wish to destroy, space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance, and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate and that's what you saw."
Following controversy over those comments, the mayor's office released a statement on April 27, which said, in part: "The mayor is not saying that she asked police to give space to people who sought to create violence. Any suggestion otherwise would be a misinterpretation of her statement.”
Gray is scheduled to be buried today. The Baltimore Police Department’s full report is likely to be released this week.