BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The situation in Charlotte is strikingly similar to the unrest seen in Baltimore in April of 2015. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office has reached out to Charlotte’s mayor to offer any assistance she can.
The shattered windows, pummeled police cars and fires in the streets of Charlotte are eerily reminiscent of a day in Baltimore 17 months ago.
Rawlings-Blake says the scenes of unrest are part of a much larger issue.
“There’s just no trust. There’s a lot of anger. Our country is at a boiling point when it comes to race relations, when it comes to community and police relations. And there’s no trust,” said Rawlings-Blake.
But the mayor warns the violence in the streets only makes a bad situation even worse.
“You’re destroying the businesses. You’re destroying the stores. In the heat of the moment that damage is done and it’s going to take a while for the community to repair itself.”
In Baltimore, a year and a half after the riots, several businesses that were set on fire have still not been able to reopen.
As Baltimore struggles to rebuild, experts say Charlotte must learn lessons from what happened here–especially when it comes to investigating its own police officers.
“You remember the D.A. in that case announced indictments immediately, aggressively going after the cops right away. You had acquittals in all of the trials, mistrials and all the charges dismissed,” said Paul Callan, a criminal defense attorney.
To put an end to the violence, the mayor says the nation must start having serious conversations about the underlying issues that got us here.
She says she understands why Charlotte has not issued a curfew, saying it is a tough call that comes at a high cost.
Officials have projected the Baltimore riots cost the city $20 million.