Photo Gallery: Riots In Baltimore
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The governor of Maryland called for a State of Emergency tonight, as hundreds of protesters continue to riot in the streets of Baltimore.
At least 15 police officers have been hurt, and dozens of arrests have been made. Rioters have looted stores and a mall, and set fire to a police cruiser. Police in riot gear have been using tear gas and pepper spray to try and get the crowds under control.
The rioting began shortly after the funeral for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died two weeks ago while in the custody of Baltimore police. His neck was broken, and six officers have been put on leave.
This afternoon rioters threw rocks and bricks at police from just feet away and police throwing them right back. More than a dozen officers have been injured, and one officer was reportedly unconscious.
Rioters, mostly teenagers, used clubs and baseball bats to destroy an unoccupied police car, and they set a police cruiser on fire.
Looters also torched a CVS Pharmacy, but as firefighters tried to put the fire out, rioters cut holes into the hoses.
A grocery store, a liquor store, and the Mondawmin Mall were also broken into and looted.
“Right now it’s a group of lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of the people who live in that community or for the officers who are there to ensure those who live and working that area can do so safely,” said Captain Eric Kowalczyk of the Baltimore Police Department.
At times police would briefly retreat from the crowds. They used tear gas and pepper spray to fight back, and as the day wore on, they made dozens of arrests.
City officials and Governor Larry Hogan called for help from police departments across the region. Thousands of National Guardsmen have also been deployed. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a curfew for the city, running from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. every day for the next week.
Freddie Gray’s family is among those who have asked for peace in the streets of Baltimore.