Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake went full thug in her first press conference since children started throwing rocks at police and looting and burning shit up after school let out this afternoon.
“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” the mayor said at a press conference in the State Transportation building across from City Paper’s offices on Calvert Street.
The mayor said the she has called the National Guard: “As soon as they are available they will be immediately deployed."
She is instituting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for the next week. This is in addition to the existing juvenile curfew.
Chief of Patrol Col. Darryl DeSousa called the disturbances “unprecedented type of violence throughout the city.” He added that the department “is not going to tolerate that.”
He said 15 police officers had been injured, two of them seriously enough that they were still hospitalized. Both were hit by flying debris, DeSousa said. The department had made about 27 arrests before DeSousa came to the press conference at 8 p.m., he said.
Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said the riots remind him of 1968.
“We can’t let this be a repeat of 1968," Brandon Scott, city councilman in the third district, said. He implored “all adults” to stop the children from destroying property and burning buildings. “Adults have to step up and be adults,” Scott said.
Asked why she had not held an earlier press conference after the unrest began, the mayor said she had been managing the crisis. Her frustration with the rioters was evident. “It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city that you’re going to make life better for anybody,” she said.
Police spokesman Eric Kowalczyk said the department had gotten a “credible threat” about possible gang violence this morning, but did not say that threat was linked to the later rock-throwing or to earlier rumors of gangs gunning for city police.