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Baltimore

Anyone who has caught even a glimpse of national news since yesterday is aware of the tension and turmoil that is currently besetting Baltimore. Burning and looting abounds and many police officers have been injured in the process. Supposedly, this has to do with the death of a man named Freddie Gray, who was taken into custody [circumstances surrounding his arrest are still unknown] and died from complications due to a mostly-severed spine. While I understand that people are angry at the lack of information surrounding this man's death and other cases of people being killed, I fail to see how looting and burning a CVS pharmacy and stealing from a shoe store rights the wrong? There is always an element of people who will seize an opportunity to steal and work mayhem whenever and wherever they can. We used to call it evil. I am sure there are many other definitions that psychologists and sociologists would apply now. I wonder if [and how long] it will take people like Al Sharpton to insert himself into the situation and stir things up even more than they already are? Perhaps not-- my understanding is that a large percentage of the Baltimore police force is now of minority background.

Perhaps, this time, it is not so easy to define the problem as racial in nature, given the large number of non-white officers in the department. So what is it? Is "police brutality" the issue here? I am sure there are bad cops-- as there is a bad element in almost any career field you can think of. My own hometown of Norwich, CT has been accused of allowing abusive cops to stay on the force. While I cannot verify such claims, I have witnessed cops in my town who somehow think you work for them and not vice-versa. However, for the record, I know a great many more who are decent and respectful people doing [what can be] a dirty job for little money.

People of all colors want to see transparency in their police force. Perhaps simply being more forthcoming in sharing information in a timely manner could have prevented much of the current unrest there. Maybe those 15 officers would not have been injured (6 seriously) and maybe the local CVS would be open for business today, filling much-needed prescriptions and dispensing other things vital to those who live nearby. Perhaps. Sadly, we'll never know because the police in this case seem to have acted so secretively at the outset.

The older I get, the more I have noticed that bad feelings beget more bad feelings and the only way to stop it is by one of the offended parties offering an "olive branch" to the other. Let us hope such a thing happens here... and soon.

I cannot help but think of the words contained in the bible that I cherish so much. They seem to speak loud and clear about the current state of affairs in this world. I shall leave you with just one verse, a statement by our Lord Jesus about the last days: And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. -Matthew 24:12 (NRSV)

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