BALTIMORE — At a news conference in the wake of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray-related protests turning destructive Saturday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that she instructed police to give people who “wished to destroy” space to do so.
Gray, who was 25, died on April 19 — one week after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. Demonstrations have been nearly constant in the city ever since.
On Saturday, car and store windows were smashed and fires were lit as the intensity of protests escalated throughout the afternoon.
Baseball fans at Camden Yards were even asked to stay inside the park for a time after the game ended for their own safety.
“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,” Rawlings-Blake said to the media Saturday evening.
“It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
Also speaking at the conference, on behalf of the Gray family, was Freddie’s twin sister Fredericka Gray.
“Can you all please, please stop the violence,” she said. “Freddie Gray would not want this… violence does not get justice.”
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