Did the Baltimore Mayor Issue a stand down order to police?
The liberal mentality of issuing “stand down” orders in the midst of violence has become a standard practice. There was a stand down order in Benghazi that literally caused death and destruction. Now, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is being accused of doing the same thing- giving a direct order to police to stand down as rioters tore her city apart.
Was there a stand down order?
Fox News reported:
Despite a firm denial by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a senior law enforcement source charges that she gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out Monday night, raising more questions about whether some of the violence and looting could have been prevented.
The source, who is involved in the enforcement efforts, confirmed to Fox News there was a direct order from the mayor to her police chief Monday night, effectively tying the hands of officers as they were pelted with rocks and bottles.
Asked directly if the mayor was the one who gave that order, the source said: “You are God damn right it was.”
The claim follows criticism of the mayor for, over the weekend, saying they were giving space to those who “wished to destroy.”
Mayor Rawlings-Blake has taken criticism from numerous sources for her handling of the Baltimore riots. Maryland Governor Hogan criticized her for not requesting a state of emergency sooner. She has stated that she was trying to balance between free speech and being heavy handed. That lack of foresight has translated into the National Guard having to be deployed to her city…THAT’s heavy-handed.
Free speech balancing act
In fairness, the idea of protecting free speech for peaceful protesters IS an important balance.
In the 1980’s in our home town, the mayor had to allow an Aryan Nation (Neo-Nazi) parade in a city that hated them and what they stood for. It was a controversial call on his part. Outside groups descended on the city intent on causing an uproar. But riots and anger were prevented by him allowing police the ability to search backpacks and other items for anything that could have been used as a weapon prior to the parade’s start (large piles of guns, bats, you name it they had it). It worked. Many weapons were confiscated that had been intended for harm – yes, they got their items back long after the parade was over. There was no “stand down order.” There were no disasters, either.
Admitting an ill-advised word
Baltimore’s Mayor did finally admit that she uttered those words about giving “space to destroy” but said they were taken out of context- and numerous people have tried to “explain” what she meant.
“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.”
Gas thrown on a lit fire
It is seriously not likely she meant for rioters to take over her city and destroy it. But she did not carefully choose her words given the incendiary atmosphere in Baltimore. Leadership requires forethought and application of wisdom, particularly with regard to a large city like Baltimore that has large populations of different races.
Preventing outside groups should have been a priority for her- instead of inviting Al Sharpton and thanking the Nation of Islam and gangs- all of which are experts at throwing gas on a lit fire.
Is giving a stand down order the way to handle violence? No. Is it the way to handle adversaries? No. We hope she learned some lessons from this…but it’s doubtful.