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The family of Freddie Gray–the latest national symbol of police brutality against Blacks–urged rioters on Monday to stop destroying their community in the name of their loved one.

“Don’t tear up the whole city just for him,” Gray’s mother, Gloria Darden, said, according to NBC News. “That’s wrong.”

She said she wants justice for her son, but told protesters not to “do it like this,” reports the television news outlet.

Darden’s plaintive plea came just hours after burying her 25-year-old son, who died April 19, a week after his spine was mysteriously severed during an arrest by Baltimore Police on charges of alleged criminal activity.

The death sparked nearly a week of peaceful protests in a city whose Blacks and police already have a tenuous relationship. But for reasons that remain unclear, peaceful protests gave way to violence on Monday, despite pleas from the family to remain calm and allow justice to take its course. Individuals burned and overturned cars in the streets, while neighborhood stores were looted.

“To see that it turned into all this violence and destruction, I am really appalled,” Gray’s stepfather Richard Shipley said told NBC News.

For more coverage of Monday night’s unrest, see the links below.



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