Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was the youngest-ever Baltimore City Council member when elected back in the mid-nineties. The now 45-year old lawyer and Baltimore mayor is currently – after rising quickly through the ranks of city politics – also Secretary of the DNC and Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Her ambition has clearly staked out a promising path for her within the Democratic Party. She will now have to earn that path with the breakdown of law and order in her city of Baltimore. And her words this past weekend were not a big help to maintaining that law and order. “We also gave those that wished to destroy space to do that as well” she stated, apparently referring to the unholy trinity of members from 3 gangs who called a truce and who then ran rampage over parts of the downtown. Despite the police’s attempts to limit but not prohibit their acts of violence over the weekend. The gangs have been let out and they rampaged again and far more violently this Monday through parts of Baltimore, burning and looting.

The latest outbreak in urban violence has to do with the detention and death of Freddie Gray who died of multiple injuries, including a possibly severed spine, while detained in a van after running away from officers. Six officers have been suspended with an ongoing probe trying to sort out what happened in the van. So what looks like a case of possible police brutality now has it’s response in burning and looting and injured officers who can barely keep a semblance of order in parts of the city. Governor Larry Hogan (R) has called in the National Guard and Mayor Rawlings-Blake has imposed a 10 to 5 curfew. Baseball was cancelled, parents warned to keep their kids safe and at home and away form parts of the city, and CVS Health, the victim of some of the looting and burning, will be closing some stores in Baltimore. And as the news spread as quickly as a fire burning in a looted store, you can be sure that the world’s press is just as quickly heading to Baltimore (a relatively short drive from Washington DC for any correspondent) to broadcast and with sombre glee comment on the violence.

But something is clearly wrong. Was Eddie Gray an innocent? A criminal known to police? In either case, did police go stark raving mad in that van when confronted with an individual resisting arrest? A probe requires sober reflection on the facts, which themselves must be collected as objectively as possible. In the midst of another battle between black youth – many criminal in this case – and police that is a tall order. But once again, it is the only way out. Perhaps as well, Mayor Rawlings-Blake regrets her “space for violence” comment. For there can be no space for lawless violence – whether done by officers in a van, or by criminal gangs driving businesses out of the city of Baltimore.