‘Simple. Shoot em,’ a Wayne County prosecutor said of Baltimore protesters

Baltimore riot police
Police line up at Baltimore protest. Victoria Macchi/VOA News, with permission.

Update: The assistant prosecutor has resigned. 

A white Wayne County assistant prosecutor suggested on social media that Baltimore protesters be shot, and her boss is standing behind her.

“Solution. Simple. Shoot em. Period,” Assistant Prosecutor Teana Walsh posted on Facebook late Monday evening after watching protesters throw bricks at police on TV. “I don’t care what causes the protesters to turn violent.”

Prosecutor Kym Worthy defended Walsh.

“APA Teana Walsh is known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families. Her post was up on line briefly and she immediately took it down,” Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller said in a statement. “The post was completely out of character for her and certainly does not reflect the person that we know.”

The protests in Baltimore broke out after the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man in police custody.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • John Golembiewski

    So then, why did she quit and better yet, why did Worthy let her?

  • JC

    Whiskey Tango

  • Declaring martial law and using deadly force are perfectly reasonable things to do during times of complete social breakdown.

    Also, I would take issue with calling brick-throwers “protesters”. Once you start throwing bricks, you cross the line into rioter.

    Protesting is great. Rioting is unacceptable.

    • muckraker_steve

      Good points. They were only referred to as protesters because those are the exact words used by the assistant prosecutor. But there definitely is a distinction. Thanks.

      • Mark C. Dudley

        Steve, I would like to point out that a whole lot of peopled during Egypts Arab Spring threw bricks because they feel like peaceful protests weren’t getting them herd. It’s beyond simplistic to catagorized people who have had injustice after injusticed heaped on them as “rioters”. Do you think they would be out there doing this if they didn’t feel that the provided outlets were sending the emotional content of their message NO. At the end of the day they have to go back and face the totality of their actions on their neighborhoods. Now ask yourself, something has to be seriously wrong for sane person to burn his own house down, and these are very sane people.

        • “Steve, I would like to point out that a whole lot of peopled during Egypts Arab Spring threw bricks because they feel like peaceful protests weren’t getting them herd.”

          Since that worked out so well…

          “Now ask yourself, something has to be seriously wrong for sane person to burn his own house down, and these are very sane people.”

          That’s not a question, so I can’t ask it, but I would say you’re operating from a questionable premise with regard to your reasoning.

          • Mark C. Dudley

            Ok GP your right its not a question. So here is one since you like pointing out how things worked out for people. Blacks have been protesting, for the most part, in ways that mirror those championed by the Southern Christian Leadership conference for years? Question, how far has that gotten them. Police still whipping our asses and killing us wholesale. They are still trumping up charges on us and blacks make up a hugely disproportionate amount of the folks in prison as it relates to population. Can you explain this?

          • “…blacks make up a hugely disproportionate amount of the folks in prison as it relates to population.”

            This is one of my points. I can’t full explain it. I want to see good, testable, data as to why this is. You can choose to believe that’s it’s “the man” out to get blacks, but I think they’re are more reasons. I, however, don’t disbelieve your other points, but would take issue with some of your hyperbole.

        • muckraker_steve

          Mark, I absolutely understand why people are pissed and in the streets. I would never discourage anyone from protesting the outrageous, chronic abuse of young black men. I was only saying that there is a difference in meaning between a protester and a rioter. Most protesters cannot be considered rioters. And I am of the belief that riots are a spontaneous expression of outrage. So please don’t misunderstand me. I understand why people are outraged, and I support their right to protest and empathize with their anger and frustration.

          • “I would never discourage anyone from protesting the outrageous, chronic abuse of young black men.”

            It’s not just limited to young black men. Neither should be the outrage.

          • muckraker_steve

            It’s not just limited to young black men, but they are being targeted at disproportionate rates, and that is a problem – a big societal problem.

          • As a “victim” of a police violence, I think the problem is more universal.

            No one can deny that young black men are disproportionately affected, so let’s hold that constant. Now, let’s ask why? I would submit that young black men are statistically more likely to have run-ins with Johnny Law. I would further suggest that Johnny Law has a baseline level of aggression that’s nearly evenly applied. I think it’s the way we police, more than anything.

            The New Republic is reporting that supposedly some of the officers implicated in Freddie Gray’s death are in fact black. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121667/black-cops-black-mayors-didnt-save-baltimore-police-abuse

            At some point, we might have to look at the possibility that it’s not driven by racism and driven by other structural issues.

          • Mark C. Dudley

            “At some point we may have to look at the possibility that its not driven by race. “GP if you work in an environment where you are encouraged to behave in ways the ways dictated by a racist culture, it doesn’t matter what race you are as perpetrator, the act you do is racist.

          • I said, in response to someone mentioning racially integrating police departments, that when it comes to police, the only color that matters is blue.

            You seem like a very intelligent person, but I suspect you see racism in a lot things that you shouldn’t.

    • Mark C. Dudley

      GP for life, wasn’t the boston tea party a RIOT? Didn’t a bunch of kids just RIOT as it relates to a sports team,twice within the last few months. Why wasn’t deadly force used there? Was that unacceptable. Didn’t they cause large amounts of property damage? Why isn’t the media calling them THUGs.

      • Yes, the Boston tea party was a riot, maybe even a raid. How well did that work out for the loyalists?

        College kids did in fact riot. They pulled out their shitty couches that they probably found in a dumpster on move-in week and burned them in the street. Honestly, it was probably a public health net benefit that they did. What they didn’t do was storm any business they could find and steal anything not bolted down before burning the businesses to the ground. Gee, I wonder why they’re not calling the college kids thugs? Also, there was quite a stink made about it. Such a stink in fact, the Lansing State Journal called out the national media outlets covering it as a riot. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2015/03/30/officials-fires-bagel-throwing-equal-riot/70680896/

        It looks like you bought into the Spartan hate bandwagon, too.

        • Mark C. Dudley

          GP it didn’t work out to well at all. What kills me is how this stuff gets turned around by very irresponsible people. I am glad EVERYONE is outraged but not everyone has been victimized like these people by the police, though i would concede that these are practice runs for a national rollout if it ever deemed necessary by the powers that be. Also A bunch of universities have allowed riotous behavior not just good ole MSU.

          • You of course know that most college riots don’t include organized looting, arson, and just general mayhem, correct?

            I don’t know what you mean by turned around?