[Update: Though now I understand, thanks to a comment by Matt and others in a previous post, what I think she was trying to say:
From the video, it appears she did indeed mean that the city inadvertently provided space for those to destroy through their attempts to provide space for protest. Also from the video, the guy on the left of the screen (one of her own who was likely privy to the content of her speech prior) clearly heard the more inflammatory version. People make mistakes, they misspeak; she just needs to clarify her position, wring her hands, and call for an end to the destruction. It wouldn't hurt if she called on protestors to do their best to police their own... using different language of course.]
Now this isn't some gotcha moment, but when I ask a cop fighting the riots why the riots started, he said, "The mayor gave them permission." I had no idea what he was talking about. I sounded like some right-wing lie. But this police officer isn't right wing. He's also African-American.
I wasn't convinced that the mayor said this. But regardless, I asked, "But so what? It's not like the people out there burning shit listened to the mayor's press conference. They don't even know who the mayor is!"
"Word gets out. Through the leaders of the community. It trickles down. That was the message."
So I found and watched the video. Now I don't know what the mayor meant to say. But this is what she said. I thought she was going to correct herself. She didn't. Maybe it's exactly what she meant. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is in way over her head.
(And look at the guy on screen-left having a "what chu talking 'bout, Willis" moment.)
Here are two links to the same press conference (in case one link dies in the future).