Ed Norris, the city’s top cop from 2000 to 2002, said during a CNN interview Tuesdaynight that he would have tried to talk the mayor out of the curfew because it backs law enforcement into a corner if they are unable to enforce it.
“[Police] have been backed into a corner with this curfew,” said Norris. The whole weekend has been about police confrontation — what do you think people are going to do?
They’re going to confront the police, they’re going to be disobedient, they’re not going to obey the curfew.”
Thousands of people were pictured in standoffs with police, tossing bottles and shouting obscenities. Police responded by holding their lines and firing pepper spray pellets at the protestors, according to televised news reports.
“The agitators and the bottle throwers, they need to be handcuffed. The first bottle that’s thrown should be the last one,” Norris continued. “Unless you’re prepared to go in there and put people in handcuffs and lock them up … you’re not gonna win this, and that’s what I think is happening.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan insisted during a Tuesday press conference that the riots of Monday night would not be repeated again. The National Guard, state police and other agencies have been brought into the city to maintain order.
Residents, some of whom rioted Monday night in response to the death of Freddie Grey following a fatal injury suffered while in police custody, were noticeably more subdued Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.
But Norris insisted the curfew was a poor decision.
“This is just not that well thought out,” said Norris. “I do not believe in curfews. I’ve never believed in curfews. They never work.
“We already had a curfew,” Norris continued, explaining how people 17 and under have long had to be home before 10:00 p.m.
“I don’t know what we’ve added here by putting a curfew at 10:00 for everyone else, except now they have more confrontation,” said Norris, also a former cast member on “The Wire.”
“I would definitely advise the mayor against it.”
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