Statement of IACP President Richard Beary on Situation in Baltimore

“I am deeply disturbed by the violence and disregard for the law that has been exhibited in Baltimore. While the investigations continue into the death of Freddie Gray, the men and women of the Baltimore, Maryland, Police Department, and assisting law enforcement agencies, have provided safe havens for peaceful demonstrations and expressions of one’s first amendment rights. When some protests devolved into violence, those same officers demonstrated tremendous courage and restraint while working to de-escalate the situation.

As we continue to watch the events unfold in Baltimore, you can clearly see the difficulties that situations like these present and the complexity of law enforcement’s action in response – which require a fine balance of response to the range of emotions and reactions, while working to restore peace, and prevent the further escalation of violence and destruction of property. 

De-escalation during situations like this requires a concerted effort by all members of the community.    I once again commend law enforcement for their remarkable efforts during this incredibly tense and dangerous time as well as those members of the community who have attempted to defuse the situation.

Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the officers who were wounded yesterday, their families, friends and colleagues.”