Fox News is reporting — citing a senior law enforcement source who spoke with correspondent Leland Vittert — that Democratic Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered police to allow rioters to loot stores Monday night, saying, “Let them loot, it’s only property.” (VIDEO: Baltimore Mayor: Space Was Provided To Those Who ‘Wished To Destroy’)
“This is coming from a very senior law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the orders that were given by the mayor and by her police commanders, down to the very core of the police riot units,” Vittert said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday afternoon. “What I am quoting now from him is, quoting the mayor, ‘Let them loot, it’s only property.’”
He also reported that his source was “very clear that on Monday night, that when [stores] were looted, that the police were told effectively to stand down and watch it. I was standing right here on Monday night. The police were about 75 yards up there… That’s what we saw happen.”
Vittert also noted that when he was covering the looting Monday night, a Baltimore city councilman told him that he had “asked the police to back up so we could talk to looters.” (WATCH: Badly Injured Cop Dragged Away From Baltimore Riot)
In an interview with Fox’s Bill Hemmer earlier Wednesday, Rawlings-Blake denied that such an order had been issued. “So there was no order to hold back?” he asked. “Or was there?”
“No, but you have to understand; It’s not holding back, it’s responding appropriately,” she responded.