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Apr 28, 2015 4:50 PM

Steinhauser: Ehrlich tells NH1 News that Baltimore rioting is personal

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Bob Ehrlich says the rioting in Baltimore hits home.

“I grew up not too far the scenes you observed on your TV screens yesterday. I drove past that corner on Sunday with my 15 year old and 11 year old. Pennsylvania and North avenue. And so this is personal. A lot of Baltimoreans, a lot of Marylanders are embarrassed,” the former Maryland governor told NH1 News on Tuesday.

Ehrlich said that “this was opportunistic rioting for the most part led by gangs and folks from out of town, and some from in town.”

The violence began soon after Freddie Gray was buried. Gray died on April 19, from a severed spine, one week after he was taken into custody by Baltimore police. Gray’s death is under investigation. Small peaceful protests following the burial soon escalated over the weekend and by Monday the city resembled a war zone. Officials Tuesday promised that thousands of police officers and Maryland National Guard troops would be patrolling the streets, trying to prevent the looting, fires and rioting that rocked Baltimore Monday night.

Asked about the police involvement with Gray’s death, Ehrlich told NH1 News that “there may have been some major, major, mistakes made here. It looks like there were.”

But he added that “we can’t have this lawlessness, this is not dissent, this is trashing businesses.”

Ehrlich is seriously considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. As he speaks in New Hampshire and elsewhere on the campaign trail, he always brings up the issue of fatherlessness.

“I have written and talked about the issue of fatherlessness,” Ehrlich said. “I would submit to you and your listeners that if there were more fathers in homes in this neighborhood yesterday, there would have been less teenagers putting all this together.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who also served two terms as Baltimore mayor, cut short a trip to Europe to return to the city.

"Governor O'Malley has arrived in Baltimore to be with the people in the city that he loves. Since last night, he has been reaching out to community leaders, the Mayor, and members of the clergy to offer his assistance where appropriate and needed,” O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith said Tuesday afternoon.

O’Malley is seriously considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.


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