By Victor Kam
Following the riots in Baltimore that occurred recently, Sid Saab called for the mayor of the city to resign. The representative felt that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had failed to tackle social issues adequately and made an inappropriate comment, although her officials claim the quote was taken out of context.
Saab, who is a delegate from Crownsville in Anne Arundel County, tweeted on Monday, “Madam Mayor, the only space that those who wish to destroy should be given is prison” and followed it with more tweets calling for her resignation.
The specific comment that angered Saab was when Blake appeared to take a soft stance on the rioters by saying, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
Mayor Blake’s comments, however, appear to have been taken out of context. The mayor has clarified that she meant that while giving peaceful protestors the opportunity to express themselves, they had also inadvertently given the violent protestors the opportunity to destroy property. Saab has, however, viewed the mayor’s response as a sign of her poor leadership.
The Baltimore Mayor has insisted that the violence was not a sign of poor leadership but that it was difficult to control the riots while still allowing the Baltimore residents the right to protest. She did not tell the police to be lenient on the looters, but their activities went on in synchrony with the protests. Governor Larry Hogan has said that he did not receive a request for assistance early enough, which is the reason so much property was destroyed before the National Guard intervened.
Responses by state officials have resulted in 200 arrests and a 10 p.m. curfew, which has assisted in reducing the cases of vandalism and looting.
The riots have forced many legislators in Maryland to reschedule their work as they focus on providing relief to the victims of city’s unrest. This includes the investigation to settle who was responsible for the death of Freddie Grey, who protestors believe was wrongly killed by police.
Although he has been criticizing Mayor Blake’s response, Saab did concur with her that if the police were found responsible for Gray’s death, then they should face the consequences of their actions.