On Wednesday, April 29, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walked back her comments regarding property destruction and looting that broke out on Monday night. These occurred during demonstrations after the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. When clarifying her decision to not expand police presence on Monday night Rawlings-Blake stated in a press conference that:
“It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody,” she said. “Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for.”
She then echoed that same sentiment via Twitter:
Too many people have invested in building up this city to allow thugs to tear it down. pic.twitter.com/bGjT5ru5cy
— Mayor Rawlings-Blake (@MayorSRB) April 28, 2015
After receiving harsh criticism from Baltimore residents and the media for her categorization of the agitators as “thugs,” the mayor took to Twitter again on Wednesday to “clarify” her comments which she claims were made out of frustration and anger:
I wanted to clarify my comments on “thugs.” When you speak out of frustration and anger, one can say things in a way that you don’t mean.
— Mayor Rawlings-Blake (@MayorSRB) April 29, 2015
When we talked to local Baltimorians Wednesday night, one of whom attended high school with the mayor, they expressed feelings of frustration in regards to Rawlings-Blake. They stated that though she was appointed following the resignation of Baltimore’s former mayor and ran virtually unopposed in her re-election, they had lost faith in the mayor’s ability to do the job of effectively governing this city and her handling of the Freddie Gray situation has been the final straw.