BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Following a violent night in Baltimore, Congressman Elijah Cummings reflects on Saturday night’s demonstrations.
What went wrong? It’s the question many people ask as they watched protestors get unruly after a peaceful Freddie Gray demonstration.
“I was thinking back in 68 and 69 when I was in high schools and I thought about the riots and how businesses were being destroyed,” said Congressman Cummings.
More than 40 years later, similar acts–this time, downtown Baltimore.
A group of protesters created chaos, damaging cars and businesses–Cummings calling it upsetting.
“Destroying property or throwing bottles or things at police, that distracts us from the fact that Freddie Gray died and that we need solutions to the problems that we have with our police department,” he said.
With Cummings, WJZ visits one of the areas damaged by protesters Saturday night .
WJZ asked the congressman if what was displayed to the world on TV, setback what has been a peaceful call for justice?
“What happened with this incident, with regards to Freddie Gray, is so powerful that the community and our leaders will not let us be setback,” Cummings said.
But the congressman says it does create a distraction, but is forces both sides–police and the community to look at ways to rebuild a broken relationship.
“The police definitely can’t do their job without cooperation of the public and the public, when anything happens, need to be able to pick up the phone and call 911 if anything happens,” he said.
Washington: “So where do we go from here? Can Baltimore get past what happened that April 25th Saturday night?
Cummings says, ”We can, but only together. We cannot achieve this by standing at two ends of a corner talking past each other. So, we will get past this.”
Cummings adds, “I think the attention paid to this will only help if only we make it help.”