Dr. Ben Carson, who spent three decades in Baltimore as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, made a campaign stop in the city on Thursday where he spoke with community leaders, telling them people need to be nicer to the police.
Carson is one of the first potential 2016 presidential nominees to visit the city that has been in turmoil since the death of Freddie Gray in April after his arrest by Baltimore police.
According to WBAL, Carson told community and faith leaders that the continual criticism of police officers would have a harmful effect, making them timid and afraid to do their job.
“What we don’t want to happen (is) we beat up on the police all the time, and they get to the point where they second guess themselves and they become timid,” Carson said. “And then it endangers them and it also endangers the people they are supposed to be protecting, so that ends up being a worse situation.”
The neurosurgeon had previously questioned the circumstances surrounding the death of Gray, saying his injuries were “Not something you get from flailing around.”
“More than likely, in the process of apprehending him — he’s put on the ground in a prone position and somebody, you know, put a knee in a wrong position, and that can destabilize the spine,” Carson explained. “And then, when you’re rattling around with a destabilized spine, all kind of things can happen. I’m sure that was not the intent of whoever did it, but obviously it looks very suspicious to the community.”