Baltimore riots conclude


A retirement home in flames, businesses looted, and the eyes of the nation glued to Baltimore, a 30-minute drive southwest from Bel Air. This unrest, uncertainty, and vandalism occurred in direct opposition to pleas of peace from the family of Freddie Gray.

On April 19, Gray, a 25-year-old African American male, passed away in custody following his arrest. The death has rekindled public protests of the national issue of recurring police brutality towards African American males.

The protests have affected the entire nation and even reached international headlines. According to MSNBC, Gray was arrested for carrying an illegal switchblade. Gray attempted to run away from the police officers when they tried arresting him, but he was eventually caught and brought down by the officers.

The details are still unclear and the judicial system is currently deciphering the situation. We know Gray died as a result of spinal cord injuries. Gray was in a coma for seven days after his arrest until he passed away. Currently, the six police officers involved with the arrest of Gray have been charged for the manslaughter and murder of Gray, according to The New York Times.

Members of the Baltimore community feel as if they are being portrayed unfairly. “We did not come together against the cops. We’re not about to allow you all to paint this picture of us. We got soldiers out here right now that are dirt – we dirty. They threw bombs at us to try and stop what’s going on right now. You all are not about to do that to us,” a member of the Bloods gang told WBAL in an interview.

The rioters have made known that they feel as if they are treated unjustly by the government. “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace,” state prosecutor for the case Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “To those that are angry or hurt or have their own experience of injustice, I urge you to channel your energy peacefully.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a public statement on April 25 regarding the violence in the community. “We know that the vast majority of the men and the women in the Baltimore City Police Department serve our city with pride, with courage, with honor and with distinction. But to those of you, who wish to engage in brutality, misconduct, racism, and corruption, let me be clear, there is no place in the Baltimore City Police Department for you,” Rawlings-Blake said in a public statement.

Law enforcement has been enforcing a city-wide curfew that was lifted on May 2. Alongside the curfew and police officers coming from as far away as Pennsylvania, 1,700-2,000 members of the National Guard were deployed in Baltimore to assist in managing the situation and to keep the city stable.
The city has been under a state-of-emergency since April 25, and it will be lifted once the last of the National Guard leave the city, according to WBAL. Since the first two nights of riots, the unrest has given way to largely peaceful protests. In total, there have been 46 arrests because of the enforcement of the curfew.

According to the official Baltimore City Police Twitter account, “they are overwhelmed with the amount of support received in the past week from the community.”

The main concern of the Baltimore authorities is to keep the citizens of Baltimore safe.
Since the curfew has been rescinded, the National Guard has also been withdrawn from Baltimore.

“We’re going to bring whatever resources are necessary, whatever assets are necessary, whatever manpower is necessary to let the citizens of Baltimore know that their neighborhoods are going to be safe,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a press conference.

Kishan Patel is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and