Former Baltimore police chief gives insider’s view on protests and riots

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BALTIMORE (PIX11) -- Kevin Clark follows the unrest in Baltimore closely, from 2003-2004, Clark was the city’s Police Commissioner, making him the highest ranking person in the department.

Clark sat down with PIX11 News Tuesday afternoon to offer an insider’s view on the current protests and riots after the death of Freddie Gray.

During his time as Police Commissioner, Clark saw firsthand the level of frustration that existed in many neighborhoods. He told PIX11, “if you ride through the city of Baltimore you will see many, many houses that are boarded up that have been abandoned for decades.”

“So these kids that you see, these young people they are not you're atypical teenagers. They've been living in crisis with a tough road ahead of them for many years.”

Clark pointed to years of the Broken Windows Policing theory, where minor infractions are enforced as crimes, as partly to blame for the simmering tensions in Baltimore.

“They continue with the repressive enforcement of quality of life in these neighborhoods that have a great impact on the working poor, and minorities meaning Latinos and Blacks,” Clark explained. “Because everybody gets a criminal record now.”

And when it comes to the arrest of Freddie Gray, Clark says it’s important to wait for the results of the full investigation, but he does believe officers should have provided Gray with medical attention sooner.