Dozens of businesses in Baltimore that were looted or set ablaze or both are suing the city of Baltimore over the mayor’s order for police to stand down during the riots. The police had to back off and allow all looting and arson, destroying businesses in their wake. For many small businesses, the owners were ruined because they could not afford to rebuild.
Considering how much money in taxes these businesses paid to pay for police and fire departments, you might even call it fraud. These businesses had the right to believe that the police would protect their businesses. They are suing for unspecified damages but I would assume we are talking about huge numbers because not only were their buildings and inventory destroyed, they have also lost nearly two years in profits they would have made had they not been shut down.
Former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as well as current mayor Catherine Pug are both named in the suit. Rawlings was the mayor at the time of the riots, and was widely criticized for her horrendous response to the riots.
“We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,” she said in the aftermath of the attack, leading to widespread outrage among store owners who lost everything.
“The City failed them when they adopted a policy of restraint and issued stand-down orders, caring more about the public perception that they feared would result with increased police presence than preventing what were clearly preventable riots,” the lawyer for the businesses suing the city said.
WBAL-TV reported that the lawsuit asks for compensation for the damages, but does not list a specific dollar amount. It is unclear if a specific amount will be asked for at a later date as the lawsuit progresses.