Violence erupts in Baltimore after Freddie Gray funeral

Maryland governor declares state of emergency and activates National Guards to help quell Baltimore riots

Violence erupts in Baltimore after Freddie Gray funeral

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Hundreds of teens clashed with riot police outside of a Baltimore mall Monday, hours after the funeral for a black man who died while in police custody.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard late Monday to help with the violence and rioting.

Hogan signed the order at the request of the city, according to a statement on governor's office website.

“Today’s looting and acts of violence in Baltimore will not be tolerated. In response, I have put the Maryland National Guard on alert so they can be in position to deploy rapidly as needed," Hogan said in a statement.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake put in place a one-week curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Tuesday.

A flier circulating on social media called for a period of violence Monday afternoon to begin at a local mall and then move downtown toward City Hall.

Police responded to the mall and assembled in front, blocking off its parking lot.

As protestors arrived at the Mondawmin Mall, they threw stones, metals, rocks and bricks at police in riot gear.

Fifteen police officers were injured and a police vehicle was set on fire, while several other vehicles were damaged, Baltimore police said on Twitter.

Anadolu Agency photojournalist Samuel Corum was among those injured by objects thrown by demonstrators.

A number of other journalists were also injured in the melee.

The rioters, mostly high school students, looted a CVS drug store as the clashes continued.

The riots broke out shortly after the funeral for 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died from a severed spine a week after being arrested April 12.

Dignitaries attending Gray’s funeral included legendary civil rights activists Elijah Cummings, former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and John Sarbanes – all current or former representatives from the state of Maryland.

Looting and violence continued overnight Monday with at least two buildings and multiple cars being engulfed in flames after rioters set them ablaze. Police refrained from large-scale responses, instead opting to use line formations to push protesters back, and resorted to limited non-lethal measures, including pepper spray, bean bag ammunition and paintballs filled with pepper spray.

Late Monday night, Gray's family - his mother, stepfather, and sisters - returned to the New Shiloh Baptist Church to call for an end to the ongoing street violence.

"We had a beautiful homegoing service, and to see that turned into all this violence and destruction, I am really appalled," Richard Shipley, Gray's stepfather told reporters.

Gloria Darden, Gray's mother, said that she wanted justice for her son, "but don't do it like this. Don't tear up the whole city."

Gray's death came on the heels of a string of recent police-involved killings of black suspects across the country that have have stirred racial tensions, and set off nationwide protests over perceived injustices within the U.S. justice system.

Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2015, 09:34
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