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Why must taxpayers foot the bill for riot damage?

While I have no problem with the owners of businesses destroyed in the riots suing to cover their damages, I do question why Baltimore City and not former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake or former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts will bear financial responsibility (“Riot lawsuit offers look inside looting of Baltimore businesses,” June 22).

As a medical professional, I have witnessed situations in which the actions of a medical professional resulted in injury to a patient. If the person acted in a manner that was not consistent with hospital policies or procedures, he or she was not supported by the hospital and had to shoulder the costs for legal representation and damages that may follow. The hospital may still have some responsibility, but the professional also is held accountable.

Certainly, the Baltimore City Police Department has policies and procedures that describe actions that must be taken to protect person and property. When the former mayor rejected those to allow the blatant commission of crimes to continue without consequence and the former commissioner complied, it seems they made a conscious decision to violate the city's policies and procedures. Should they not be held personally accountable for their intentional negligence of their responsibilities to the citizens of Baltimore and commission of acts that violated the city's policies and procedures? Why should the taxpayers have to shoulder this expense?

Taxpayers should no longer accept the financial burden resulting from government officials escaping personal responsibility for their failure to competently perform their jobs. Perhaps we'd see more competency and wiser decisions if they had some skin in the game.

Charlotte Eliopoulos, Glen Arm

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