Baltimore Violence Worsens As Protesters Attack Cops, Burn Cars And Loot Stores
Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died after one week in police custody was laid to rest on Monday, but the situation in his city, Baltimore, worsened as protests over his death became violent.
Fox News reports that during the Monday rallies, gangs attack cops resulting in 15 injured officers, burned vehicles and stole from stores, prompting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to take drastic action. The measures he put in place includes calling the National Guards and declaring a state of emergency.
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In a late night press conference on Monday, Hogan was quoted as saying, "These acts of violence and destruction of property cannot and will not be tolerated."
Also on Monday night, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake set 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. as curfew, which takes effect on Tuesday. The city closed schools for Tuesday. University Of Maryland-Baltimore likewise shuttered its campus as did many businesses in the area.
The Chicago White Sox match against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night was postponed after the game organizers consulted the local police.
City authorities had difficulty quelling the violence, while firefighters' efforts to douse the fire that burned a CVS store was made difficult because of holes made on their hose connected to a fire hydrant.
Following the blaze on a CVS store and the looting of another outlet, the company said it would close some stores in Baltimore. Also victimized by looting are some stores inside the Mondawmin Mall.
Reuters reports that the police used pepper spray on rioters who looted liquor stores and other commercial establishments. The looters are made up of lawless individuals who have no regard for the members of the Baltimore community, said Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyck. He said that one of the injured officers is unresponsive, while other cops have broken bones.
Fox named some of the gangs involved in the attack on cops as the Black Gorrilla Family and Bloods and Crips.
While the family of Gray --- on whose death the looters and gangs are taking advantage of the situation --- has appealed for peaceful demonstrations, a business owner noted that
"The sad part about it is that a lot of people from the community were up there in the CVS stealing stuff out of it. It's a disgrace," Reuters quotes 61-year-old Daisy Bush.