Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Thursday morning that arresting young people at City Hall following a sit-in was "the last thing we wanted to do."
Sixteen teenagers and adults were arrested and charged with trespassing early Thursday morning after refusing to leave City Hall following a confirmation hearing for Davis.
"In a perfect world, they probably wouldn't have stayed that long," Davis said on "The Norris and Davis Show" on 105.7 The Fan.
Davis was a previously-scheduled guest, said co-host Steve Davis. The other co-host is Ed Norris, a former Baltimore Police commissioner.
The interim commissioner said that the hearing only turned tense in the last hour or so.
"The hearing was pretty peaceful and constructive for several hours," Davis said.
He said he wasn't surprised by the demonstrations at the confirmation hearing.
"The hearing was something. That experience was something that I'm glad I lived through and survived," he said.
Davis lamented the fact that some of the testimony during the hearing – especially from mothers of murder victims – isn't getting attention because it's being obscured by the protest and arrests.
"I wish this morning we were taking about the four mothers … it kind of gets lost in the civil disobedience," Davis said.
Davis said that while the job is proving to be challenging, he wants to become the permanent commissioner. He took a step forward last night when the City Council's Executive Appointments Committee voted to confirm Davis. His appointment will go before the entire City Council next week.
"I'm looking forward to it, I really am," Davis said.
Davis also repeated many of his thoughts on policing in the city that he has touted in recent weeks, including a need to better train officers on how to do foot patrols and build relationships in the community and improving morale among officers.
Asked about a video that surfaced this week that appears to show a sergeant spitting on a man being arrested, Davis said the spitting was "reprehensible" and "disgusting."
Davis said young officers shouldn't see a much more experienced officer doing something like that. The officer has been suspended with pay amid an investigation.
"Just when we're making progress, it's two steps back," Davis said.
Davis said it's important to get a handle on violent crime in the city in order to improve economic development, tourism and convention business.
"Baltimore is more than the late April, early May riots and 'The Wire,'" he said.