Paul made his statements during an interview on Tuesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingram. Labeling the tense moments seen throughout the nation as “thuggery and thievery,” Paul listed a few reasons for the outrage, blaming low-income woes and absent fathers.
“There are so many things we can talk about: the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society,” he said. “This isn’t just a racial thing.”
The riots followed the funeral of Freddie Gray on Monday. The 25-year-old died at the hands of six police officers who arrested him on April 12. A week after falling into a coma, Gray passed away from a severed spinal cord. Further autopsy results revealed his vertebrae was crushed in three places. Just last Friday, Baltimore Police admitted fault for not getting Gray medical help in a timely manner.
Critics slammed Paul for his comments and pointed out that his own son has had multiple run-ins with the law. Just last week, the 22-year-old was arrested for a DUI in Kentucky.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) April 29, 2015
William Hilton Paul was arrested and charged with a DUI after crashing his vehicle into an empty car early Sunday morning. His two previous arrests included simple assault towards a flight attendant while drinking on a US Airways flight, and public drinking of an underage minor in October 2013.
Meanwhile, the elder Paul laughed when asked if he felt scared as his train rode through Baltimore.
“I came through the train on Baltimore [sic] last night, I’m glad the train didn’t stop,” Paul said, laughing.
The political candidate’s views on police reform have been mixed. While he’s stated in the past he wants to push back harsh sentencing and work on policing laws, he supported the Baltimore Police Department’s decision to use military gear against protesters on Monday.