Last night at a press conference, Governor Larry Hogan announced he had called in the National Guard to return the city of Baltimore to peace.
“I have not made this decision lightly. The National Guard represents a last resort in order to restore order,” Hogan said. “People have the right to protest and express their frustration, but Baltimore City families deserve peace and safety in their communities and these acts of violence and destruction of property cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Some questioned why it took so long for the Guard to be activated, to which Hogan responded that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was slow to make the request. He said he executed the request 30 seconds after it was made. Rawlings-Blake had initially said she wanted to give to protestors the “space to destroy” their environment.
The governor of a state cannot just call the National Guard into a situation; a request has to made from the mayor.
“When the mayor called me, which quite frankly we were glad that she finally did, instantly we signed the executive order. We already had our entire team prepared,” he said. “We were trying to get in touch with the mayor for quite some time, she finally made that call and we immediately took action.”
The governor went on to say, “It’s obviously very disappointing to us as Marylanders and people who love the city of Baltimore. What started out as a peaceful protest. … I would say 95 percent of the people involved were conducting themselves in a very peaceful manner, it was well under control. We had a lot of outside agitators come in from around the country, and we had some rogue gangs and young people that were just out looking to cause problems.”