As rioting raged in pockets of Baltimore on Monday evening, a 72-year-old Vietnam veteran stepped between a line of police in riot gear and the rioters and told them to get their butts home.
CNN reporter Joe Johns went up and talked with the man who put himself in the line of fire to bring peace to his neighborhood. He initially identified himself as “just a soldier.”
“I did 30 years, OK, came out a Master Sergeant. I’ve seen more than all this,” said Robert Valentine. “I’ve been through the riots already. This right here is not relevant. They need to have their butts at home. They need to be in their home units with their families studying and doing something with their life. Not out here protesting about something that is not really about nothing.
“They do not respect this young man’s death. You know. Now, mama and daddy lost a child. That could be them. So I’m very pissed,” he added.
Johns pressed Valentine on why he chose to come out and confront the rioters.
“I love my country. I love my Charm City. I’m an American,” Valentine said. “I’m not black, white, red, yellow or nothing. I am American.”
Dang, Robert Valentine literally risked his life to be a peacemaker. All Christians are called to do that.
— Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney) April 28, 2015
— Mark Zinni (@MarkZinni) April 28, 2015
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) April 28, 2015
— Chris Rock (@ozchrisrock) April 28, 2015