Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Riots In Baltimore

April 27, 2015

(This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.)

A day of mourning gave way to an evening of riots and looting in Baltimore on Monday, where Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. Just hours after Freddie Gray’s funeral, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets, burning police cars, looting stores and facing off with police.

Television images showed those demonstrators throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at a line of police officers in riot gear.

Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said seven officers had been hurt in the clashes. Some suffered broken bones and one of them, said Kowalczyk, is unresponsive.

“This is not OK,” said Kowalczyk. “We will find these people who are responsible and we will put them in jail.”

Images from a television helicopter showed some demonstrators destroying a police vehicle. They showed others looting a CVS pharmacy, a Rite-Aid and small shops. What started as a confrontation between perhaps a hundred protesters and riot police quickly turned into a melee covering multiple neighborhoods in the city.

As we reported, protesters have taken to Baltimore streets to demand justice for Gray, who suffered a fatal spine injury while he was in police custody. An investigation is still ongoing.

Gray’s funeral was held less than a mile from one of the protest sites.

Update at 7:06 p.m. ET. A State Of Emergency:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency. and has activated the National Guard to “address the growing violence and unrest in Baltimore City.”

Hogan will hold a press conference at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Update at 6:45 ‘Just A Struggle’:

Mo Jackson, a 22-year-old protester, tells NPR that the protest he joined was peaceful.

But police officers, he said, shot paint balls at them and in retaliation they threw rocks.

He said this anger has been building for decades.

“This has just been a struggle,” Jackson said. “Every year, cops kill innocent people. Cops lock you up. It’s oppression.

He said he came out to protest because this is the first time that the national spotlight has been on Baltimore.

“This is not the place you want to raise your kid at this moment in time,” he said. “Because you feel like when you grow up they are going through the same thing you go through…. we don’t have nothing out here.”

Update at 6:26 p.m. ET. Orioles Game Postponed:

A major league baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox has been postponed because of the violence.

Update at 6:22 p.m. ET. National Guard On Alert:

In a statement, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the violence seen today “will not be tolerated,” so he has put the state’s National Guard on alert.

“I strongly condemn the actions of the offenders who are engaged in direct attacks against innocent civilians, businesses and law enforcement officers,” Hogan said. “There is a significant difference between protesting and violence and those committing these acts will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.”

Update at 5:44 p.m. ET. Threat From Gangs:

Earlier today, Baltimore police issued press release saying they had received a “credible threat” against their officers.

According to the release, “various gangs including the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods, and Crips have entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.”

Update at 5:36 p.m. ET. ‘Bring Your Children Home’:

The Baltimore Sun reports that violent protests today began near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore. According to the paper, a widely circulated flier previewed a demonstration modeled after “The Purge,” a film about “what would happen if all laws were suspended.”

On Twitter, police said that a large number of “juveniles” were involved in the melee, so they were asking parents to “bring your children home.”

Update at 5:22 p.m. ET. ‘Not What Baltimore Stands For’:

Rev. Jamal Bryant, a religious leader in Baltimore, said the violent protests are “not what Baltimore stands for.”

“It’s disappointing,” he said. And it’s “not what the family asked for” at Gray’s funeral.

They wanted today to be about “sacred closure,” he added, and it has instead turned into a day of violence.

“Violence is never the answer for justice,” Bryant said.

Update at 4:58 p.m. ET. Cars On Fire:

Helicopter images from WBAL-TV showed one police car on fire.

Baltimore Police said they were “deploying resources to ensure everyone remains safe.”

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