President Barack Obama said Tuesday there is “no excuse” for the violent rioting and looting that erupted in Baltimore on Monday.
“It is counterproductive,” President Obama said, “when individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement. They’re stealing. When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson and they’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities.”
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden during a joint press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Obama expressed condolences for the family of Freddie Gray and the police officers wounded in Monday’s clashes.
Obama also said the problem is not new and that the entire country needs to “do some soul-searching.”
The violence erupted shortly after the funeral of Gray, who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody.