Dozens of Baltimore business owners are suing city officials, including the police department and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, saying they mishandled the city's response to the rioting in 2015, reports the Baltimore Sun.
In a nearly 700-page complaint filed in federal court this week, more than 60 plaintiffs say city officials failed to prevent the looting and rioting that erupted after the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, despite warnings the city would experience violence.
More than 380 businesses, including many located south of North Avenue in West Baltimore, were damaged or destroyed. Property losses were estimated at nearly $13 million.
The plaintiffs are suing under the Maryland riot act statute, which allows parties to bring a claim against the city for property damage during civil unrest. They name Rawlings-Blake and former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who were in office at the time of the riots, current Mayor Catherine Pugh, the City Council, city police and the state as defendants. They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.