BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Even before the jury started deliberating in Minneapolis in the Derek Chauvin case, barriers went up around City Hall and Baltimore Police Headquarters.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said he supports protests, but not violence.READ MORE: 'This Is 10K People Who Have Died' Maryland Woman Shares Story After Mom Dies From COVID-19, Urges People To Get Vaccinated
“When outside agitators come in, the message is clear, if you come in to do harm and destruction and to commit a crime, you will be held accountable,” he said.
A spokesperson for Baltimore County Police said:
“The Baltimore County Police Department is closely monitoring the events of the Chauvin trial and are always in a continous state of readiness in the event that we are needed. We will continue to evaluate and adjust manpower based on intelligence received. At this time no leave will be canceled. “
Further south in the nation’s capital, The Department of Defense authorized more than 200 D.C. National Guard troops to help Metropolitan Police just in case.READ MORE: ‘This Loss Is Ours As A City’ Baltimore Hockey Team Mourns Two Young Members, Murdered In East Baltimore Shooting
President Joe Biden was also watching.
“And they’re calling for peace and tranquility,” President Biden said. “No matter what that verdict is.”
Baltimore’s history with protesting police misconduct is still a fresh wound.
“It was 2015, literally six years to the day that we experienced great violence in our own city, we watched Baltimore burn, and we don’t want to go back,” Dana Petersen Moore, Baltimore’s first Chief Equity Officer, said.
Petersen Moore said there is a direct correlation between police brutality and the fight for change.MORE NEWS: Local Small Business Owners Share How American Rescue Plan Funding Helped To Keep Them Afloat
“The protests are the voice of the unheard. I think what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing is that people are realizing that from an equitable perspective, it is inequitable that African-Americans are the ones that are being subjected and victimized, but they’re saying enough,” Moore said.