Atty. General, President Talk Baltimore Unrest
Attorney General Loretta Lynch was just sworn in not even twelve hours ago, and has already met with President Barack Obama to talk about the riots unfolding in Baltimore.
The meeting was not a direct response to happenings in the city, but Lynch “assured the President that she would continue to monitor events in Baltimore and that the Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there,” according to the White House.
The president also spoke with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Monday. His senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, spoke with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
Violence has continued to erupt in Baltimore, following a week of peaceful protests in response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody. An autopsy concluded that Gray’s spine was severed after an encounter with police officers that still remains unclear. He died a week later from his injuries on April 19.
Since the August 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama administration has been tasked with addressing the deep frustrations in communities of color while also supporting law enforcement.
So far, Obama has not released a statement about the unrest happening in Baltimore despite speaking in personal terms about police harassment in the past. White House officials say they’re considering releasing a statement to address the situation.
The situation is particularly challenging for Lynch, who was sworn in after a five-month battle for confirmation in the Senate. Her strong relationship with law enforcement was highlighted as a key qualification for the attorney general job.
Maryland State Police have ordered an additional 40 troopers to the city. They are scheduled to be deployed Monday evening to join the 42 troopers already assisting city police.
According to Baltimore police, seven officers have suffered serious injuries in the clashes on the city’s streets, including broken bones and a loss of consciousness.
Police said there is a “credible threat” that local gangs are planning to team up in an effort to overpower law enforcement officers.
Check back for updates.