As the violence began to play out on live television, many people in Central Pennsylvania who commute to Baltimore for work, or who just pass through the city, watched and wondered what this would mean to them. Pennsylvania resident Bob Cooney got off a cruise ship in Baltimore on Tuesday. He and his wife were using an on-star navigation system to find their way home. However the system wasn’t able to fully download the turn by turn directions because Baltimore was listed as a crisis area. An on-star representative had to talk them through how to get out of the city on the phone.
It's one of many incidents that highlight just just how much of an impact the riots are having. Cooney said the violence takes away from the message of many non violent demonstrators. "It takes from the peaceful protest, they can't get their point across. All the coverage goes to where the riots are. They're going about it all wrong. They really are. If they're dissatisfied with their politicians the time to take care of that is when they vote. Certainly not by tearing their homes and towns apart," said Cooney.
Many others we spoke with shared Cooney's perspective. Some said they wished police had arrested more of the rioters last night.
Another driver, Deborah Dull, lives in Maryland and worked at a bank in Baltimore for more than a decade. She said the peaceful demonstrations that have been occurring for several days have been erased by the violence. Many others we spoke with have said they think the rioters are criminals looking for an excuse to steal. Dull also said that the focus needs to stay on Freddie Gray, and that we need to give it time for his death investigation to run its course.
Dull also said that the rioters are disobeying Freddie Gray's family. "It's going to detract from getting the truth. We don't want people hurt, black white or purple it doesn't matter. The point is that they are taking away from the main focus. The family did not want all of this. That's what people need to realize, that they do not approve," said Dull.
On Monday night the Gray family's attorney said that his family is calling for an end to the violence and hopes that anyone angry about his death can express themselves with peaceful protests.