Best Backtrack: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the national media that, during the protests that led up to the riots in Baltimore last April, police were tasked with protecting protesters and to strike a delicate balance in which “we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.” The quote, even in context, seemed to suggest that the mayor of Baltimore wanted to make sure vandals had their say, and the right-wing media had a ball with it. Two days later—on the morning of the full-on riot—SRB’s spokesman, Howard Libit, issued a statement. “What she is saying within this statement was that there was an effort to give the peaceful demonstrators room to conduct their peaceful protests on Saturday,” Libit wrote. “Unfortunately, as a result of providing the peaceful demonstrators with the space to share their message, that also meant that those seeking to incite violence also had the space to operate.” Um, sure.

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