CVS pharmacy and store on fire
Gov. Hogan’s statement:
What Happened Leading Up To This?
Several Baltimore police officers were injured after a riot broke out on Monday following the funeral of a man who died after suffering a spinal injury in police custody.
Seven officers were injured, with some suffering broken bones, police spokesman Eric Kowalczyk told reporters. One officer remained unresponsive.
Kowalczyk said a large group of people spread out over “a pretty significant area” in a violent demonstration following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died on April 19 from a spinal injury after being arrested and transported in police van a week before.
The protests began around 4:30 p.m. ET with youths stoning a city bus and passing police vehicles outside the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore, just a few blocks from the site of the funeral for the 25-year-old.
A largely teenaged crowd threw rocks and bottles at a line of several hundred police in riot gear. Some demonstrators carried signs reading “Justice 4 Freddie Gray.”
Others could be seen looting goods from a CVS Pharmacy.
Police said they were working to arrest those who “without provocation attacked our police officers.”
“You’re going to see tear gas, you’re going to see pepper balls,” Kowalczyk said. “We’re going to use appropriate methods to ensure that we’re able to preserve the safety of that community.”
On its official Twitter feed, police gave regular updates of the movements of the protesters, tweeting that a group of them had damaged several police cars and set one on fire. “The group is aggressive and violent,” one tweet said.
At a press conference, Kowalczyk described the instigators of the violence as “lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of the people that live in the community.”
Riots follow days of protests
Gray’s death has led to days of protests in the latest outcry over U.S. law enforcement’s treatment of minorities.
Gray’s family, pastors and city officials had pleaded for peaceful demonstrations after some arrests and injuries at protests over the weekend.
From a helicopter, police called for protesters to disperse, but the youths ignored the order.
Earlier, at the funeral, speaker after speaker before the crowd packing the 2,500-seat New Shiloh Baptist Church said the world was watching to see if justice would be done for Gray.
J.M. Giordano, photo editor for Baltimore’s City Paper who was beaten by police during a Freddie Gray protest over the weekend and was out documenting Monday’s events, said the riot had little to do with Gray’s funeral per se.
“The friends and family of Freddie Gray, they didn’t want this kind of protest,” he told CBC’s Diana Swain.
“This is really a neighbourhood, I think, lashing out. A lot of people in these neighbourhoods are fed up with (cont’d)