At the least seven Police officers were reported injured on Monday, April 27, 2015 following the violence that erupted in the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America after the funeral of one black skinned 25-year old Freddie Gray who died while in police custody.
The riots emanated a few blocks away from the funeral ground of Freddie Gray and then scattered through parts of Baltimore, being the most violent demonstration since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.
The Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan has declared a State of Emergency alongside a curfew, requested for as many as 5,000 security reinforcements from neighbouring states in a bid to quell the fatalities.
Hogan had activated the National Guards as fire fighters tried to extinguish fires set by looters and rioters with baseball bats.
Gray’s death on Sunday, April 19, 2015 reignited a public outcry over police treatment of African Americans that flared last year after the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere.
Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a week long citywide curfew for all residents from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting Tuesday, April 28, 2015 as rioters damaged neighborhood after neighborhood into Monday, April 27, 2015 night.
Rawlings-Blake called those involved “thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city,” joining a chorus of other officials and residents — some of whom fought off rioters to defend their homes and businesses.
“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for, tearing down businesses, tearing down or destroying property,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”
After more than an hour of mayhem, thousands of police officers moved into glass-strewn streets where the worst of the violence had taken place and used pepper spray on rioters who had sacked check-cashing and liquor stores.
William M. Pallozzi, superintendent of the state police, said 1,500 police were in Baltimore on Monday night. In addition to police from out of state, as many as 5,000 National Guard soldiers could be deployed. Ministers also took to the streets in an effort to quell the violence, trying to intervene and praying for peace.
Police and news helicopters buzzed overhead and older community leaders tried to calm down mostly young rioters and prevent clashes with the police. Rioters cut a fire department hose while firefighters fought a fire at a CVS pharmacy looted earlier, the Baltimore Police said.
An Orioles baseball game was canceled and schools, businesses and train stations shut down in the city of 662,000 people 40 miles (64 km) from the nation’s capital.
“All this had to happen, people getting tired of the police killing the young black guys for no reason. … It is a sad day but it had to happen,” said Tony Luster, 40, who is on disability and was out on the street watching the police line.