MP3 Baltimore Riots with Brian Wilson

Talk show legend Brian Wilson and I did a postmortem on the Baltimore Riots on his Libertas Media Project podcast today. I was amused by Brian’s opening riff – claiming that Public Policy Hooligan will soon be a made-for-TV movie that includes Buford Porchdog Mulcoskey as Bill Clinton and Trample the Wonder Rhino as Janet Reno. Here are a few of my comments:

* The vast majority of the protestors were not looters, and most of the looters were not protestorsI support folks’ right to protest even when I vehemently disagree with their signs or slogans. I favor jailing the looters no matter what excuse they offer.

* Brian asked my response to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake labeling the rioters as “thugs.”  I said I was just grateful that she did not label them “hooligans.”

*It is  mystifying why a half a dozen cops were not stationed in front of the Mondawin Mall on Monday evening – they easily could have prevented some of the worst looting.

* Police in Baltimore (and throughout Maryland) have had the legal right to kill with impunity for many years. I wrote about this in Playboy in 2001 (“Killer Cops”) and the problem has only gotten worse since then.

* While Mayor Rawlings-Blake denounces police brutality, she has been complicit in covering up police abuses throughout her five years as mayor.

* Regardless of what the Mayor meant with the “space to destroy” comment, she apparently gave stand-down orders to police that permitted the violence and looting to become far worse than it otherwise would have been. It would be fascinating to see the internal emails among FBI officials to see their moment-to-moment response to how the Baltimore riot was handled.

* The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore City Paper have done great investigations in the past and I hope they can expose the precise orders that the mayor gave police and establish a timeline of Baltimore’s descent into chaos.

* Hopefully the truth comes out and, as always,  there is a happy ending in Maryland.

Brian asked my response to Hillary Clinton candidacy and the Clinton Foundation. I said the bright side is that the scandal guarantees we’ll hear more speeches about the danger of people becoming cynical.

If you want to hear Brian’s zippety Libertas Media Podcasts on a regular basis, here is the page with the subscription information.





, , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to MP3 Baltimore Riots with Brian Wilson

  1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit May 7, 2015 at 11:04 am #


    “Nondisclosure agreements,” where the parties agree to keep secret the terms, conditions, admissions, and so on in a settlement agreement are relatively common, even in other jurisdictions.

    Baltimore PD watching city going up in flames – sort of like LAPD in the 80s? As I point out to my students during the persuasive speaking section: if you can get people afraid, if you can get them fearful, if you can have them only “thinking” with the backs of their brains and not the frontal lobes, you can get them to do all SORTS of stupid things. Like not exercise rights. Like support more spending for protection. Like cheering for greater State power.

    I don’t think it’s as much of a “Just Baltimore” as seems to be implied. I suspect that a lot of larger cities, where “police” is more of a verb than an noun, have similar issues, of greater or lesser level.

  2. Jim May 7, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Lawhobbit, the Baltimore Sun’s investigation into the nondisclosure agreements had quotes from numerous nearby states and large cities that had the mirror image procedure on permitting citizens to know that their tax dollars were being spent to cover up official crimes.

    Do you mean LAPD in the early 1990s, after the Rodney King verdict?

    I think Baltimore is in much worse shape, policing-wise, than most large cities. But certainly there are other places where folks are justifiably outraged about the harassment and oppression they receive from their designated protectors.

  3. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit May 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    If it’s a non-disclosure agreement, how can you talk about it? 😀

    Yep, the Rodney King Riots – Korean grocers on the roofs, that sort of thing.

    Wouldn’t argue that Baltimore is bad – could even be the worst, yep. But I’d still suggest that there are a lot of unhappy inner city powder kegs, of all sizes, waiting to happen. Without a DOUBT Baltimore had some stunning plays to give it a claim to “worst,” between the “stand down” order and the “room to destroy” comment and the possible over/mis-charging of the officers.

    • Jim May 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

      A key issue in the Baltimore PD non-disclosure agreements is that the members of the City Council had no idea how much they were paying out to settle cases of police brutality. The city paid 5 separate claims for one cop – and the councilmembers were shocked to learn about that from a Baltimore Sun investigation.

  4. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit May 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Without knowing how Baltimore City Council is set up …. Portland, for instance, has all of the departments doled out among the mayor and councilors. Isn’t someone there responsible for checking up? SOMEBODY had to okay the money heading out the door – who was it?

    • Jim May 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

      That would be the mayor – the same lady who just called in the Justice Dept. to do a civil rights review of the Baltimore police dept. I assume that, at least for the moment, she no longer considers it to be in her political self-interest to be a party to covering up police abuses.