In the midst the severe criticism being placed on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and especially Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake due to the hesitated-response to the “thugs” who have brought down the city of Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the governor says that President Barack Obama even suggested “due restraint” in response to the actions of the protesters. Though the president made no public comments about the incredibly uncontrolled looting and burnings going on in the city located just 40 miles north of the nation’s capital, the governor said he spoke to the president by phone as the protests were in progress on Monday, according to CNS News on Tuesday. Gov. Hogan said he had a long discussion with Obama in which the commander-in-chief said he was leaving this situation to his new attorney general, Loretta Lynch.
The National Guard was finally given instructions to assist the local authorities on Monday. The criticism involves the time at which the assistance was given. Many believe that the mayor of Baltimore should have asked for the extra assistance on Saturday as protests were being conducted throughout the area and as violence was beginning to escalate. Instead, she waited until Monday afternoon when there were severe incidents of looting, fires being set, and attacks being made on police. The governor, incidentally, does not have the right to send additional assistance to an area of civil concern until it is requested by the mayor. Yet, the governor defended the mayor’s decision to wait as long as she did – which makes him look as miscalculating in the situation as the mayor is said to have been.
According to CNN and the Hollywood Reporter, both Rawlings-Blake and Hogan were so frustrated with the accusations of their miscalculations regarding the protesters’ violence that they walked off an interview being conducted by CNN on Monday. Additionally, the Baltimore mayor was accused of saying that the protesters needed space to destroy. She attempted to defend herself by saying that those words were mischaracterized by the media. However, on Saturday night, when violence was beginning to escalate in her city, she did say that she was working with police to make sure the protesters’ right to free speech was protected. Again, many believe she should have only been concerned about private citizens’ safety and their properties which were being threatened and eventually destroyed throughout the weekend and on Monday by the throngs violent protesters.
In defense of himself, the governor of Maryland said that he called out the National Guard within 30 seconds of the time he finally got the request from the mayor. In his news conference, he was also somewhat defensive of his actions and comments by repeating President Obama’s message to him which included the president’s call for “due restraint” in the authorities’ dealing with the protesters. Naturally, social media and the media-at-large are having a great deal of trouble with the politicians’ calls for “due restraint” when dealing with the violent protesters and extremely-heavy concern about the politicians’ concern about “the rights of the ‘thugs’” who are tearing down yet another American city. President Obama did not tell the governor when Attorney General Lynch will make an appearance in Baltimore. According to the White House, Obama and Lynch have met at the White House to discuss the Baltimore concern. It is sincerely hoped that AG Lynch’s alliances will be with the innocent victims of the violence and not with the “thugs” – a term which was coined by Mayor Rawlings-Blake in describing the protesters in Baltimore.