Regarding the recent news, that Wayne County’s assistant prosecutor was forced to resign over her Facebook comment (“the way to end the violence in Baltimore was to shoot the protesters”), I commented that I disagree with her. In my opinion, flame throwers would be more effective; some people would get hurt in the short run, but in the long run, lives would be saved. A family member, who saw my comment, was shocked that I would write such a thing. Apparently, he believes that we should show more compassion, and restraint, toward these “protesters.” I wonder if the fact that he lives in a city that’s only about 9% non-Asian minority (NAM) has anything to do with his liberal views on rioters.
I stand by my comment, if not necessarily literally, at least in spirit. Our soft response to such riots only encourages them. Over time, inner-city blacks have learned that they can get away with rioting. While it’s true that some of them gain short-term benefit in the form of looted merchandise, it’s obvious that these riots bring about long-term misery for the majority. With businesses looted or burned down, job prospects suffer. Shopping options dwindle. Home values plummet and infrastructure deteriorates. Here’s a list of riots, since 1964, that were perpetrated by inner-city blacks in response to perceived police brutality. The list is by no means exhaustive. Many people lost their lives during these protests. Many more were seriously injured, or lost their livelihoods. If the response to rioting was ruthless, brutal, immediate and terrifying – there would be no riots, and everybody would be better off!
1964 – Harlem – Statistics vary but it is estimated that 500 persons were injured, one man died and 465 men and women were arrested. Property damage was estimated to be between $500,000 and $1 million.
1964 – Rochester – By the time the disturbance was over, four were dead (three in a helicopter crash) and 350 injured. Almost a thousand people were arrested and 204 stores were either looted or damaged.
1964 – Philadelphia – Outnumbered, the police response was to withdraw from the area rather than aggressively confront the rioters.
Although no one was killed, 341 people were injured, 774 people were arrested and 225 stores were damaged or destroyed in the three days of rioting.
1965 – Watts – There followed six days of looting and arson, especially of white-owned businesses, and police needed the support of nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard. There were 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage.
1966 – Hough – During the riots, four African Americans were killed and 30 people were critically injured. In addition, there were 275 arrests, while more than 240 fires were reported.
1967 – Tampa – rioters burned and looted the Central Avenue area, once considered Tampa’s black social hub. And: For the next several hours, random sniper activity was reported within the projects. Random fire bombs and fires reduced many local businesses to cinders and reports surfaced of countless passing motorists being dragged from their cars and beaten in the streets. Police and rioters converged upon Central Avenue and a half-mile strip of stores, poolhalls, liquor stores and restaurants. Among many incidents reported by the Tampa Tribune:
– Numerous reports of white motorists being dragged from cars and beaten by gangs of black men...
1967 – Detroit – The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.
1967 – Buffalo – Many African Americans, three policemen and one fire fighter were injured. Although the riot dispersed that night, it began again the next afternoon with fires set, cars over-turned, and stores looted whether or not they had “soul brother” written on them. This time 400 police were summoned. Forty blacks were injured, nearly half from bullet wounds.
The riots virtually shut down the city. During the night of June 28, over 40 people were hurt, 14 with gunshot wounds.
1967 – Milwaukee – In the end, the riots left four dead, 100 hurt and 1,740 people arrested.
1967 – Newark riot – By the sixth day riots, looting, violence, and destruction — ultimately left a total of 26 people dead, 725 people injured, and close to 1,500 arrested. Property damage exceeded $10 million.
1967 – Minneapolis – 18 fires, 36 arrests, 3 shootings, 2 dozen people injured, damages 4.2 million.
1967 – Cincinnati – Crowds filled the streets and threw bottles and firebombs at businesses. The Ohio National Guard was called in to restore order. One person died and there were 404 arrests.
1968 – Baltimore – In the next few days, six people died, 700 were injured, and 5,800 were arrested. 1000 small businesses were damaged or robbed. Property damages, assessed financially, were more severe in DC ($15 million) and Baltimore ($12 million) than in any other cities. Most damage was done within the rioters’ own neighborhoods.
1968 – Chicago – more than 48 hours of rioting left 11 Chicago citizens dead, 48 wounded by police gunfire, 90 policemen injured, and 2,150 people arrested. Two miles of Austin on West Madison Street were left in a state of rubble.
1968 – Louisville – Police made 472 arrests related to the riots. Two black teenage rioters had died, and $200,000 in damage had been done.
1968 – Washington DC – By the time the city was considered pacified on Sunday, April 8, twelve had been killed (mostly in burning homes), 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested. Additionally, some 1,200 buildings had been burned, including over 900 stores. Damages reached $27 million. This can be estimated to be equivalent to over $175 million today.
1970 – Augusta, Georgia – Six people were dead and more than 60 were injured after the melee.
1980 – Miami – In the end, 18 men and women died, three hundred and fifty people, some of them children, were hurt, and six hundred people were arrested. Property destruction exceeded $100 million.
1991 – Crown Heights – In its wake, several Jews were seriously injured; one Orthodox Jewish man was killed; and a non-Jewish man, apparently mistaken by rioters for a Jew, was killed by a group of black men.
1992 – Los Angeles – Widespread looting, assault, arson and murder occurred during the riots, and estimates of property damage was over $1 billion. The rioting ended after soldiers from the California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and Marines from 1st Marine Division were called in to stop the rioting when the local police could not handle the situation. In total, 53 people were killed during the riots and over 2,000 people were injured.
1996 – St. Petersburg, Florida – At least 20 people were arrested and 28 arson fires were confirmed as groups of youths ran back and forth throughout the night, throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at officers in riot gear, businesses and passing cars. At least 11 people were injured, including a police officer who was shot and a newspaper photographer who was beaten, as hundreds of people swarmed through the streets after the shooting on Oct 24th. Stores were looted and thick smoke clouded the neighborhood just south of downtown.
2001 – Cincinnati – Ultimately it was determined the riots caused $3.6 million in damage to businesses and another $1.5 to $2 million to the city.
2003 – Benton Harbor, MI – Some 21 buildings were torched, most of which were vacant homes.
Rioters flipped cars and hurled rocks and bricks at police officers and firemen as they attempted to quell the crowds. Over the course of two days some 300 officers dressed in riot gear and prepped with armored cars regained control of the city.
2005 – Toledo, OH – Eleven police personnel suffered injury, and one paramedic suffered a concussion after a brick smashed through the side window of her vehicle, hitting her in the head. Police, media vehicles and emergency vehicles were all targeted. A number of stores in the community were targeted by the crowd, including a local bar, believed by many locals to be a regular hangout for police and politicians, which was broken into and set on fire. A local gas station was also looted. Police arrested several dozen rioters, most of whom were residents of the North End. According to the mayor, a number of protesters were wearing gang colors.
2009 – Oakland, CA – Though initial protests against the ruling were peacefully organized, looting, arson, destruction of property, and small riots broke out after dark. Nearly 80 people were eventually arrested.
2014 – Ferguson, MI – As the night wore on, the situation grew more intense. Buildings were set on fire, and looting was reported in several businesses… As news of the decision spread, protesters surged forward, throwing objects at officers in riot gear. The sound of gunfire could be heard... At least a dozen buildings were set on fire around the city, many in the vicinity of Ferguson Market and Liquor, the store Michael Brown was in before he was killed by Officer Wilson...
And now we have the Baltimore riots of 2015. Civilizations do not come easy. They do not grow on trees. They’re the result of generations of hard work and sacrifice. Are we to watch our country go down in flames? It’s too late to nip this growing cancer in the bud, but we certainly can send a message to rioters. A message that even the least intelligent of them will understand.