I thought by now the officials in Baltimore and Washington would have come to their senses. It seems not.

What is happening in Baltimore is truly incredible. It started with three white and three black policemen arresting a black male, Freddie Gray. The arrest and subsequent struggle to take him to jail somehow resulted in the death of Gray. The exact cause is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, protesters that evening proceeded to tear a section of Baltimore completely apart. They looted, set buildings on fire and even cut the fire hoses as the firemen were trying to extinguish the fires.

The police were prevented from stopping the rampage by the direct orders of the mayor to let the protesters “have their space” as “it is only property.” It was maddening to watch the Baltimore police retreating from a bombardment of bricks and large stones, which ended up injuring over 135 of them, some of them seriously.

The next evening, the prosecutor comes out and announces the arrest of the six policemen stating that it is “our time” and promising “justice for Mr. Gray.” Then President Barack Obama does his part by sending his new attorney general along with a phalanx of Justice Department attorneys and FBI agents to investigate the Baltimore Police Department for possible civil rights violations. And finally, our first lady, in a commencement address earlier this month, expressed her empathy and understanding of just how the protesters must feel. What’s next?

William Nile Stadler Sr.

retired Texaco employee