Jesse Jackson: Baltimore Police Came as ‘Occupying Force, Not as Neighbors’

Reverend Jesse Jackson was on Democracy Now! earlier today talking about the rioting in Baltimore. Jackson spoke at the funeral for Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody triggered angry protests and some pretty violent clashes over the past few days.

Amy Goodman asked Jackson about Maryland Governor Larry Hogan scolding “lawless gangs of thugs” causing chaos all over the city. Jackson called that kind of language unhelpful and brought up “bankers who engaged in subprime and predatory lending and took people’s homes and drove them out of the middle class into poverty.” He said there’s a pretty clear racial and economic divide that needs to be addressed in Baltimore.

As for the police themselves, this is what Jackson said about their reaction to the protesters:

“They come in as an occupying force, not as neighbors. So, often people are afraid of them, because they’re not taxpaying neighbors whose children go to school with their children. So there is this gap between police and people. And you really ought to have residential requirements for policemen and firemen. Those who get nectar from the flower should sow pollen where they pick up nectar.”

Watch the video below, via Democracy Now!:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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