Riots – or protests, as the media calls them – broke out in three big blue cities in the northeast on Tuesday night. Police tangled with social justice warriors in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, New York. Police reportedly used tear gas and "flash bangs" to subdue some of the "protesters."

The New York Post reports protesters in Brooklyn were seen "vandalizing police vehicles, torching an American flag and igniting at least one rubbish fire." The paper cites sources who said "several protesters chucked rocks and bottles at police officers. Others in the group wielded pieces of wood."

The riot was in response to the shooting death of a Black man by Philadelphia police who the officers say was chasing them with a knife. The violence continued for a second night in Philly.

In Washington, D.C., riots erupted following the death of a young man who crashed his moped while attempting to elude police capture. Police reportedly had to deploy tear gas to disperse the violent protesters in that city.

Nothing says social justice quite like looting. Breitbart reports that in Washington and Philidelphia, Walmart stores appeared to be the favorite target of the looters. Local media shows video of rioters in Philly emptying a Walmart of big-screen televisions. The footage is epic.

There is a lot of anger out there. Some of that anger is justifiable. I get it. But the message gets lost in all of the rioting and looting. The leaders of these social justice groups must forcefully condemn the violence or the message will continue to be shrouded by it. The American people demand that law and order be enforced.

How does anyone hope to be taken seriously when they loot TVs from Walmart? Maybe you agree. Perhaps you don't. But I believe that stealing and vandalizing undermines the message. If you disagree, let me hear from you.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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