Those left in the wake of the violence perpetrated by rioters who claim to be protesting the death of George Floyd are left visibly shaken by their experiences.
And St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden is among those heartbroken by tragedies suffered as a result of the riots.
Early Tuesday morning, not long after four of his officers were shot amid the violence engulfing the city, Hayden tried to make sense of it all.
“Some coward fired shots at officers and now we have four in the hospital but thankfully, and thank God, they’re alive,” he told local media.
Hayden began to cry as he tried to continue.
“Can we make some sense out of this? Can we make some sense out of this? That’s all I’m trying to say,” he said.
According to KSDK, two of the officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and the fourth was shot in the arm. Each of them has been released from the hospital.
Rioters also threw bottles, rocks and fireworks, some of which exploded on officers, at law enforcement personnel.
Hayden went on to describe how disturbed he was that many of these rioters were gleefully “jumping up and down,” “high-fiving each other” and “flourishing pistols.”
— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) June 2, 2020
“You all might have some questions, but I don’t know what else to say. This is horrible,” he said.
One reporter did have a question, and it illustrated that things were even worse than the police chief was describing.
“Chief, the firefighters were taking gunfire and rocks were being thrown at them, they couldn’t get to scenes of fires. Talk about that a little bit,” the reporter said.
Hayden responded by voicing his confusion over the rioters’ intentions, given that the unrest started as a movement claiming to fight against injustice and racism.
“Well, the same individuals went in there and stole, looted, the 7-Eleven and then set it on fire,” he said. “So again, what I don’t understand is all the destruction and theft, because what does stealing have to do with any of this. So folks came down there just to steal, just to destroy property and just to hurt officers. That was the purpose of their coming.”
Despite the great amounts of violence and damage that St. Louis looters and rioters have been responsible for, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has released every one who police have apprehended, according to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
In a stunning development, our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner. pic.twitter.com/tMZVAyHssw
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) June 3, 2020
Nationwide, various politicians and celebrities have also helped facilitate the release of those arrested amid the unrest.
At least 13 members of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign have made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a group that is using the funds to bail out those who have been jailed during the Minneapolis riots.
Various celebrities have donated as well:
Just matched you . 🤜🏾🤛🏾 https://t.co/lp0ZtdRvTX
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather (@JanelleMonae) May 28, 2020
Please join me in supporting the Minneapolis protestors by donating to the @mnfreedomfund. The freedom fund is combatting the harms of incarceration by paying bail for low income individuals who cannot otherwise afford: https://t.co/tFr8Jh7TUX
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) May 30, 2020
Ooo they might need more money then. Make it $200,000 https://t.co/axuJnazJkU
— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 30, 2020
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson made it clear on Wednesday that suspects apprehended on suspicion of committing crimes should not simply be immediately released.
“It’s important to not send them right back out on the street and I know some of that has been happening,” Krewson said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “So that is not something that is in control of the mayor’s office, or frankly, the police department who work extremely hard to make these arrests and deserve for people to be held so they’re not right back out there doing the same thing.”
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