Ben Carson, the former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who is expected to run for president in 2016, issued a statement Tuesday condemning the violence and riots in Baltimore.
“I urge parents, grandparents and guardians to please take control of your children and do not allow them to be exposed to the dangers of uncontrolled agitators on the streets,” Carson said in a statement to the media.
Riots, arson and looting broke out in Baltimore on Monday in response to the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old died who recently died of a spinal chord injury after being arrested by city police.
“As a former resident of the city of Baltimore, it is very unfortunate to see the destruction taking place by irresponsible individuals,” the Republican doctor said. “It is vital to remember that the best way to create positive change is through peaceful conversation and policy ideas that display a commitment to resolution. My thoughts and prayers are extended to those who are experiencing fear during this troubling time.”
UPDATE: In a later statement posted to his Facebook page, Carson added that his “thoughts and prayers” are also with “the families of Mr. Gray and first responders/officers.”