The Corner

How Much ‘Restraint’ Does President Obama Want?

Baltimore police were outnumbered by rioters yesterday and ran away from them in some cases, but President Obama saw fit to urge Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to have law-enforcement exercise restraint:

Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, and the Maryland State Police, who took command of the response, said they would ask for 5,000 law enforcement officials from the mid-Atlantic region to help quell the violence. Some National Guard units were to arrive on Monday night, with others deploying on Tuesday in armored Humvees.

In Washington, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, on her first day on the job, briefed President Obama, who in turn called Governor Hogan. Mr. Hogan said the president urged him to have law enforcement officers exercise restraint, and he assured the president they would. “But,” the governor added, “I assured him we weren’t going to stand by and allow our city of Baltimore to be taken over by thugs.”

Of course, law enforcement should always act responsibility, but parts of Baltimore were burning yesterday because the police were overly restrained.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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