IN FULL BATTLE RATTLE: A Failure of Civility in Baltimore

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 8.08.07 AMBaltimore has bigger battles to fight right now.

The residents of Baltimore woke up this morning to look through a smoke-filled dawn to see the shadowy figures of Maryland National Guard soldiers patrolling the streets in full “battle rattle.”

For many, it will be too little, too late. Their homes and businesses are shattered glass and ash.

But the residents of Baltimore have no one but themselves to blame.

Streets in Baltimore looked like a war zone Tuesday morning after a night of riots, fires and heartbreak.

“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,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

Buildings and cars across the city were engulfed in flames. About a dozen businesses were looted or damaged. At least 15 officers were wounded, six of them seriously, the police commissioner said.

Pockets of violence broke out Saturday amid protests against Gray’s death. But the spark that ignited Monday’s pandemonium probably started with high school students on social media.

An online flier advertised a “purge” after school Monday, starting at Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The film “The Purge” is about a dystopian society in which all laws are suspended for one 24-hour period every year.

This wasn’t about low-level drug dealer Freddie Gray dying under very troubling circumstances in police custody. Those rioting didn’t know Gray and didn’t care about him, or even seriously care about allegations of police abuse.

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