UPDATED: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6:32 p.m.
As Baltimore cleaned up from Monday’s unrest, President Obama called the mayhem a symptom of a “slow-rolling crisis” in interactions between law enforcement and people who are “primarily African American, often poor.” While slamming “a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” he also observed that “one burning building will be looped on television over and over and over again, and the thousands of demonstrators who did it the right way, I think, have been lost in the discussion.” The head of his administration’s COPS agency and the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division have been sent to Baltimore, he said. The Wall Street Journal carried his remarks in full.
UPDATED: Monday, April 27, 2015 at 9:00 PM EST
Following the burning of a local CVS store and heightened clashes, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency in Baltimore and has activated the National Guard to assist police, USA Today reports.
During a Monday evening press conference, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the protestors “thugs,” adding that authorities would not allow individuals to destroy the city’s property.
Too many people have invested in building up this city to allow thugs to tear it down. pic.twitter.com/bGjT5ru5cy
— Mayor Rawlings-Blake (@MayorSRB) April 28, 2015
A 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. curfew has been imposed starting Tuesday. At least 15 police officers were injured in the clashes and two are hospitalized as of Monday evening. Baltimore city schools are closed Tuesday and the Baltimore Orioles postponed a Monday night game with the Chicago White Sox. According to USA Today, more than two dozen people have been arrested for looting stores, including the now-charred CVS pharmacy, and throwing objects at officers. A large fire was also set near a Baptist church.
The fire in East Baltimore. Dozens of people out here crying and in disbelief: “This is our church!” pic.twitter.com/2DTf1m7sia
— Yvonne Wenger (@yvonnewenger) April 28, 2015
Tension between police and residents of Baltimore continued Monday following the funeral service for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died of a serious spinal cord injury after an arrest earlier this month.
Clashes between police and students intensified Monday afternoon, the Washington Post reports. According to the Maryland Transit Administration, the Mondawmin and Penn North Metro Stations were shut down until further notice.
A large percentage of students in Baltimore commute to school on city transportation, leaving many stranded in an area of high police activity.
Shutting down transit, at a hub, means people CAN’T get out of harms way if they wanted to. Isnt NYC, can’t walk a block to next station.
— Danielle Noneya (@MsDannah) April 27, 2015
For everyone not familiar: HS kids in #Baltimore commute to & from school on regular mass transit. We don’t have yellow school buses. — Danielle Noneya (@MsDannah) April 27, 2015
Cops chasing kids #MondawinMall #Baltimore pic.twitter.com/TsazZwPz3L
— julia craven (@CurlyCrayy) April 27, 2015
Baltimore police officials report that individuals they are identifying as protesters are throwing rocks and other objects at officers near the Mondawmin Mall. At least seven officers are seriously injured, according to NBC 4. Officers are using pepper-spray to disperse the small crowd.
Police just threw smoke or tear gas during #FreddieGray protest in Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/D1yAoFBlf8
— Nathan Grant (@NathanBGrant) April 27, 2015
One man at the mall held his arms up as the police moved toward him, an action that has been repeated throughout the Gray rallies. Outside the mall, a young person threw a flaming trash can at the line of officers, igniting a patch of grass nearby. Police said at least one officer was injured after being hit by a flying brick.
According to the Baltimore Police Twitter handle, groups also took to looting a store and damaging police cars.
The group is damaging additional police cars in the area.The group is aggressive and violent. We are continuing to deploy resources.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) April 27, 2015
A group is now looting a store in the area of North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave. Avoid the area. — Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) April 27, 2015
Police have deemed the group “aggressive.”
Despite the aggressive nature of this group – we are continuing to deploy resources to neighborhoods in the area to ensure everyone is safe.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) April 27, 2015
According to the Washington Post, police also received “credible information that various gangs, including the Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips, have ‘entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’’ law enforcement officers.”
Baltimore police advised law enforcement agencies to take “appropriate precautions” to make sure their officers were safe.
No further details were immediately available as to where or when the incidents might occur or when the threats were received.
Amid the tense climate in Baltimore, many business and schools have opted to close shop until further notice.
This is a developing story. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.
SOURCE: Washington Post, NBC, Twitter | VIDEO SOURCE: NBC | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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