The head of the NAACP is calling on rioters to stop burning Baltimore to the ground.
Cornell William Brooks, president of the civil rights group, told “CBS This Morning” that people rioting across Baltimore are not solving any problems, rather only creating further ones.
“Burning businesses and homes and buildings in your own community is like putting a gun to your own head,” said Brooks.
Brooks’ plea to the angry mobs came after a night of violence that resulted in numerous buildings and police vehicles being destroyed.
“This problem won’t be solved with Molotov cocktails,” he added.
At least 15 police officers were injured, some seriously, during the violence that began Monday afternoon and raged throughout the overnight in the hours after the funeral for a man who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody.
“There’s not a sense of order, burning buildings does not do anything to contribute to the peace,” said Brooks.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake enacted a 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew expected to last at least one week.
During a late evening press conference, she blamed the chaos on “thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city.”
Rawlings-Blake also asked Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a State of Emergency. At least 1,500 state troopers were called in and the National Guard has been deployed.
Speaking shortly after dawn revealed the extent of the damage to Baltimore, Brooks declined to pile on to critics claiming Rawlings-Blake’s incompetence allowed the riots to rage out of control.
“Second-guessing the mayor doesn’t do anything to restore these buildings or console a grieving family or bring about healing to a broken and bruised community,” Brooks said.
The NAACP has opened a satellite office in the city to work with community leaders to achieve calm, peace and justice, he explained.
“We are going to push relentlessly for a fair, transparent investigation,” Brooks said. “There’s much work to be done.”
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