President Barack Obama addressed Monday’s Baltimore riots during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Abe today.
“There’s no excuse for the kind of violence we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement: They’re stealing. When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson. They’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities.”
Obama said the riots took away from the peaceful protests that took place for a week following Freddie Gray’s death. “Our laws were not applied equally in the case of Mr. Gray,” he added.
“We have seen too many instances of police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions. And it comes up it seems like once a week now,” he said, adding “I think it’s pretty understandable… why people might start saying this a crisis. This has been a slow-rolling crisis that has been going on a long time. This is not new. We shouldn’t pretend that it is new. The good news is that there’s perhaps some newfound awareness thanks to social media, video cameras, and so forth.”