At 10:30 am on Tuesday the 15th of December, 2015 the big question is, which coastal city is about to descend into violence and chaos...Los Angeles or Baltimore?
In LA, every public school has been closed as a result of a bomb threat called in to a member of the local school board. In Baltimore, the trial of officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray, has gone to the jury. Blatimore's mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has opened an emergency operations center, and cancelled all leave for her city's police force, two moves that don't exactly inspire confidence.
"... whether you agree or whether you disagree with the jury's ultimate verdict, our reaction has to be one of respect in Baltimore's neighborhoods," was part of the mayor's official statement, along with a plea for calm...the sort of statements public officials make when they know they are screwed.
Apparently, the fact that this particular officer is also black doesn't seem to comfort those inside the mayor's office. One might hope that a certain percentage of the citizens most likely to riot would applaud anytime a black man beats the system. But the fact that the victim, whose family has already been paid 6.4 million dollars by the city in a civil settlement, was also black seems to be the overriding driver of emotions in Baltimore.
So, the city nervously awaits the decision. The rest of the country might be about to witness that rarest of events,...riots set off by the aquittal of a black man.