Baltimore Recovers from Riots



Baltimore Police attempt to suppress riots on Monday, April 27th. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In light of recent protests across the country, protests in the city of Baltimore transformed what was a peaceful city into a temporary purge last week. Baltimore erupted in riots on Monday, April 27 after the funeral of an African American man who died in police custody.

Freddie Gray, age 25, was arrested on April 12 for possession of a switchblade. On the ride back to the police station, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to the trauma center. The center discovered that he had suffered injuries to his spinal cord.

A police officer claimed that Gray was arrested without force, but witnesses say that he was dragged and beaten by the officers. Gray passed away on April 19, and, on May 1, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor filed criminal charges against the six police officers who arrested Gray.

Following Gray’s funeral, a series of protesters and rioters erupted Baltimore into chaos. The riots started at Mondawmin Mall where around 100 high school students began throwing bricks and bottles at the police. The unrest quickly spread and included looting businesses, and setting cars and buildings on fire, all resulting in injuries of a dozen policemen. The protests turned out to be so demanding on the 27th that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the national guard.

As of early Tuesday, over 1,500 members of the national guard were deployed in Baltimore. Schools were also cancelled for safety purposes on Tuesday. The Baltimore Mayor’s office reported that there were 144 vehicle fires, 19 structural fires, and over 200 arrests.

Luckily, the riots were replaced by peaceful protests on April 28th and 29th. People chanted and marched while holding up posters that said, “Black Lives Matter”. Baltimore police captain Eric Kowalczyk said in a press release Wednesday afternoon that he was expecting large crowds of peaceful protesters in the afternoon. “Our sincere hope is that we see what we saw yesterday, which is people coming together in a peaceful manner, and if they so choose, voicing their concerns and their frustrations in a way that’s reflective of the city of Baltimore, and what we’ve seen over the last 24 hours,” Kowalczyk stated.

Later on this week, people living near Baltimore will help the city recover from Monday’s riots. In a statement, Governor Hogan said, “We have received an outpouring of support from Marylanders and people all around the country who want to help get our beloved Baltimore back on its feet in the wake of the violence and destruction.”