God has placed this on my heart so I ask for understanding in my quest for answers.

Two years ago, two sisters (5 and 7 years old) were shot in Baltimore. The seven year old died. I went to the candle light vigil. I wish there were 12 days of peaceful protest over the destructive violence which cost the life of one beautiful Black child and a bullet in the back of her younger sister while she was playing with her baby doll.

I support peaceful protests. If protests continue today, it will be the 12th consecutive day of protests here in Baltimore. These protests have happened downtown, in Towson, in Pasadena, in Westminster, and In Bel Air. While the impact of the protests have traveled into the counties, I worry the message is being lost.

I think the message of the protest is “Freedom, not Fear.” The freedom to live our lives without fear of violent death at the hands of bad police officers. The freedom to be able to live our lives and run our businesses without fear of fines and possible arrest from arbitrary government action. The freedom to live our lives without fear and intimidation from anarchists, who instead of wanting to build up our communities, only want to destroy property.

Most importantly, the freedom to live our lives without being killed by each other.

There are thousands of people, most of them being Black Lives, who have been killed on Baltimore’s streets since 2015. All of those lives lost are tragic and I believe the leaders of our city and our state are partially responsible.

These protests are impactful, but they can be so much more than that, they can be transformative. Moving from fear and frustration to Freedom will be hard. We only will get there by thinking and acting on these issues together.

This is a question which is meant to get people thinking. I understand my comments may make some people upset. Being uncomfortable, and wrestling with that feeling, is a healthy first step to seeking answers.

I don’t have the answers either. I am hoping we can find them together.