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Six Baltimore Officers Injured Saturday as Freddie Gray Protests Turn Violent

April 27, 2015  | 

Baltimore protests over an in-custody death turned violent Saturday. (Photo: WJZ TV Screen Shot)
Baltimore protests over an in-custody death turned violent Saturday. (Photo: WJZ TV Screen Shot)

Residents of Baltimore who were shaken Saturday by violent protests over the death of a man in police custody awoke Sunday to sweep up shattered glass and board up broken windows, while authorities upped the count of those arrested to nearly three dozen.

Authorities said Sunday that 35 people had been arrested — 31 adults and four juveniles — on charges that included failure to disperse, rioting, assaulting police, burglary, theft and destruction of property. Six officers suffered minor injuries.

City leaders and the NAACP blamed the violence on "outside agitators” and said the arrests of so many from Baltimore did not reflect instigators who escaped apprehension, the Washington Post reports. One of the last speakers at a City Hall rally Saturday told the crowd that he understood they wanted to go to Camden Yards and assured them they would soon "be released" and be on their own.

Although the protests were peaceful for much of Saturday morning, they took a violent turn around 6 p.m. Baltimore City police donned riot gear and tried to move people out of the downtown area, concerned for the safety of residents and thousands of Orioles fans who were watching the team play the Red Sox at Camden Yards, WJZ TV reports.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, said the violence at the end of what had been hours of peaceful protest trampled the message of the day. "The last two hours was about breaking things up, and nothing about Freddie Gray," she said.

Both affected areas of the city returned to quiet Sunday, and community leaders said protests were suspended in deference to the wake on Sunday afternoon and funeral on Monday for the man whose death sparked the protests. Freddie Gray, 25, died April 19, a week after he was arrested on a West Baltimore corner, pinned to the ground and dragged to the back of a police wagon.

Police said he died of severe injuries to his spine and are trying to determine how the injuries occurred.

Six officers have been suspended, and police plan to turn over their cases to prosecutors on May 1. But demonstrators demanding murder indictments have turned Baltimore into the latest in a long list of cities grappling with deaths of young black men at the hands of police.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

joshua @ 4/27/2015 4:58 PM

How did the officers know what pre existing conditions the suspect had? Why did he run? Who hasnt had a suspect not cooperate while taking them to your patrol car? Again if your life is that important, do what you are told, don't antagonize the police, be compliant and respectful and i am sure you will receive respect back.

Sam Johnson @ 4/27/2015 5:01 PM

The Baltimore police made the same cowardly and stupid mistake that our local LAPD made in 1992. They refused to act, while the violence and looting spread. The highly-publicized unopposed looting emboldened local dirtbags and even attracted low-life's from other cities. There were would-be looters driving non-stop all the way from FL and the rest of the East Coast! Many LAPD officers pointed out that if the authorities had shot a half-dozen or so of the first rioters, it would have cut the rioting/looting short, saved the city billions of dollars, and countless injuries and even deaths. In the short run and the long run it is insane behavior and utterly despicable for the Baltimore Mayor and police to "give them room to express themselves" [by rioting and looting]. Baltimore will suffer many millions of dollars in damage, perhaps billions if it does nothing. And even with the present price of ammo, it could have been halted with a few shells or rounds at the outset.

Deborah A. Siefer @ 4/27/2015 5:47 PM

something went on in the back of that police wagon. To make someone died. it was done behind closed doors. And those officers are the only ones that know what went on; if one's going to be charged they all need to be charged. I don't believe he died on his own accord. In my own opinion.

kevCopAz @ 4/27/2015 7:27 PM

Im way sick of these lies. More whites are killed by police then any other race, when you average in the percentage that Black males commit crime per capita this explains why there is a high percentage of Black shot by LEOs. Simple, a culture (use that term loosely) that encourages violence, violence to their own people, have a gang mentality and also encourage ignoring authority and violence against the police who represent us all... this is what you get and this is the problem. If this is not the case, where are the "white riots" when an officer kills a white person or even more so than a black officer does so. I will tell you, there are NONE because the White culture supports law and order and respect the police so perhaps the Back culture can earn form this. This has to be said.

krisnlc @ 4/28/2015 7:59 AM

Something negative happened in the back of the police wagon. All that knew something happened should be held severly accountable. Regarding KevCopAz message. Unfortunately and sadly there is some truth to what he is saying. But this is not about what race is more respectable or not. All races have some level of contempt for the law. What is also true is that blacks and minorities do have / get a disproportionate number of "negative contact" with Law enforcement. Society is still adjusting to integration and racism toward these groups. Unfortunately a lot of misunderstanding still comes from law enforcement (maybe it is the training). kevCopAz tries to justify the behaviors based on disproportionate violence perpetuated by minorities. regardless the police had no right to do what they did to Freddy or anyone. I hope this is protested prominently. The bourgeoisie and proletariat societies have meshed and are facing the same challenges and ostracization by the rich.

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