Baltimore descends into chaos, violence, looting

The Baltimore Sun, By Kevin Rector, Scott Dance and Luke Broadwater, April 27

After almost two weeks of tension over the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore descended into chaos Monday.

Roaming gangs of mostly young men clashed with police in the streets, seriously injuring officers; tore open businesses; and looted their stocks. Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard, and state police requested as many as 5,000 reinforcements from neighboring states.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a weeklong citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Tuesday.

Rawlings-Blake blamed the mayhem on “thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city.” She joined a chorus of officials and residents, some of whom fought off rioters to defend their homes and businesses.

“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”

Col. William M. Pallozzi, superintendent of the state police, said 1,500 state troopers were in Baltimore on Monday night. Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, commander of the Maryland National Guard, said as many as 5,000 soldiers could be deployed.

Baltimore Sun: Latest updates on the Baltimore riots and Freddie Gray case Live
Baltimore Sun: Timeline: Freddie Gray’s arrest, death and the aftermath (timeline)
The Guardian: Baltimore riots: looting, fires and unrest as Freddie Gray police clashes unfurl – as it happened (Closed live blog)
Corrente: Baltimore

NYT: Updates From Baltimore: After Night of Violence, Assessing the Damage
CNN: Baltimore Riot Live
USA Today: Orioles COO John Angelos offers eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests


That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.


Hullabaloo: “Like being in a bad marriage”
Hullabaloo: Baltimore troubles we ignored
The Intercept: How Baltimore’s Police and Poverty Fueled A Youth Revolt

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • The mayor says that, “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”

    It’s also idiotic to think that sitting passive while the police continue to murder the people they are supposed to be protecting is going to make life better for anyone. The government and police will change only when they are afraid not to change.

  • Baltimore incident sparks national protests

    AP, April 29

    Baltimore – Thousands of people hit the streets in Baltimore and several other cities from Boston and New York to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police and to demand reforms to police procedures.

    While protests of the death of Freddie Gray were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and more than a dozen at a rally in Manhattan’s Union Square. Gray, of Baltimore, was critically injured in police custody.

    After meeting with faith leaders and a lawyer for the Gray family, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said officials were working hard to make the investigation into Gray’s death transparent and keep the community informed.

    Police have said that they will turn over findings from their investigation to the state’s attorney on Friday.

    Unbelievably, Mr. Gray was bent on self-injury: Report: Gray tried to injure himself in Baltimore police van

    Auto-start video at both links

    Mother Jones: Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think

  • The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint

    Arrest comes in spite of his cooperation with the police.

    The Independent, By Christopher Hooton, May 1

    Kevin Moore, the man who filmed Freddie Gray’s brutal arrest, has now himself been arrested following “harassment and intimidation” from Baltimore police.

    Moore was arrested at gunpoint last night along with two other members of Cop Watch, agroup dedicated to filming and documenting police work.

    His video of Gray’s arrest was shot shortly before the man suffered spinal injuries while in police custody that led to his death.


    Moore was asleep in his home on the morning of 12 April, when his uncle yelled to him: “The police are tazing Freddie.”

    He ran out into the street and instantly started filming on his cell phone as Gray “screamed for his life”, one officer putting his knee on his neck as the other bent his legs backwards.

    “They had him folded up like he was a crab or a piece of origami. He was all bent up,” Moore said.

    At the time of writing it seems Moore has been released but his colleagues, Chad Jackson and Tony White, have not, with Cop Watch asking for help from lawyers.

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