"This can erupt anywhere in socially economically deprived America."Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby speaks to FNC's Leland Vittert as rioting continues.Posted by Fox News on Monday, April 27, 2015
At the end of a short interview with Fox News reporter Leland Vittert on the streets of West Baltimore Monday night, Nick Mosby, a member of the Baltimore City Council, decided he'd had enough.
"At this point, this is not productive," Mosby said, walking away from Vittert. "All you want to do is talk about..." He trailed off, and gestured at a nearby liquor store that had been looted.
(This part of the exchange was cut from the video Fox News posted online, but it was captured by documentary filmmaker Ricky Kelly, who posted it to Facebook. As of this writing, the two versions of the video, edited and unedited, have together been viewed more than 5 million times.)
Violence broke out in Baltimore on Monday after the funeral for Freddie Gray, 25, a black man whose spine was severed while in police custody earlier this month and who died on April 19. Mosby, who represents a part of Baltimore where much of the rioting took place Monday night, was in his district "trying to bring calm," he said, when Vittert approached him.
"When you watch this go on, does it break your heart to see this happen?" Vittert asked, pointing to protesters off-screen.
"Definitely," Mosby replied, before shifting the conversation toward the larger social forces at work. "What it is, is young folks in this community with decades' [worth] of anger and frustration for a system that has failed them."
"This is bigger than Freddie Gray," he continued. "This is about the social economics of poor urban America. These young guys are frustrated, they're upset and unfortunately they're displaying it in a very destructive manner. When folks are undereducated, unfortunately they don't have the same intellectual voice to express it the way other people do, and that's what we see through the violence today."
Vittert then tried to shift the conversation back to the evening's outbreak of crime.
"We just watched this liquor store being looted, and there's a bunch of folks running in and out," Vittert said, observing that there were police officers down the block allowing the looting to occur. "Is that right?"
"Is it right for people to loot?" Mosby responded. "No. I think you just missed everything I tried to articulate to you."
"Everything that's happening out here is wrong," he continued. "The violence is wrong. That's never acceptable... There's a symptom of something that's going on here, and what I'm trying to articulate to you is that when you look at communities like this in urban America, it's lack of education. Lack of commercial development. Lack of opportunities. It's the socioeconomics of it. It has nothing to do with West Baltimore or this particular corner in Baltimore. This could erupt anywhere in socially-economically deprived America."
"We've certainly seen this in other cities," Vittert said. "Ferguson comes to mind -- "
"We also see it at rallies like at Kentucky, when Kentucky lost that basketball game," Mosby interrupted, referring to the University of Kentucky's loss in the March Madness tournament earlier this month. "We see crowds that loot and flip over cars and stuff."
"But unfortunately, [despite] all the 95 percent of the positive rallying that's been happening here in Baltimore, the national media is going to focus on this, and that's the problem," Mosby went on.
The conversation continued, and when Vittert again asked why the police had backed away from the looters, Mosby interrupted again.
"We asked them to back off," said Mosby. "The ministers' community came together. We talked to the police. We told them we would kind of be able to talk to the young guys out here and we asked them to back up, and they did it. It worked out."
"But the liquor store's still being looted," Vittert said.
"That's passed," Mosby said, and then ended the interview.
"Unfortunately the interviewer was more focused on some looting that had occurred across the street, as opposed to really talking about the issues," Mosby told The Huffington Post on Tuesday.
"You can't focus on the movement without focusing on systemic issues that affect urban enclaves across America," he added. "It's something you really need to address. Great American cities like Baltimore are only as good as their weaker communities."
The vast majority of protesters in Baltimore, Mosby said, are peaceful, and they're doing their best to put their city back together. The media should focus on that, he said.
"The immediate need is de-escalating the situation and bringing calm to our communities, going after the violators," Mosby said. "But then we need to really fight for justice. People want answers about Freddie Gray. They're not going to listen to anything else until we get answers."
"We're gonna have to heal," he added.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.