Baltimore Riots: Fighting Fire With Fire?
April 28, 2015
Monday afternoon, riots broke out in Baltimore, Maryland. These riots are a protest in response to possible unjust treatment to a Baltimore man, Freddie Gray. For those who don’t know about the incident, he was an African-American man who died in police custody from spinal injuries. Gray was arrested on Sunday, April 12th. Authorities are currently not releasing what crime Gray was arrested for, if any. The cause of the fatal spinal injury that Gray suffered is not known at this time. This incident is just one example of recent police brutality toward African-Americans. If there is one thing we are sure of, it is that this needs to stop.
The riots were violent and destructive, leaving broken windows, looted stores, burned buildings, and trash everywhere. Protesters had conflicting opinions about the manner with which the protest should be put on. Some protesters called for a peaceful, pacifistic protest, while others promoted violence and destruction. Needless to say, utter chaos reigned and the protest did not go as planned, especially for those who wanted the protest to be peaceful. Policemen faced assaults from the crowd, being pelted with bottles, rocks, sticks, and basically anything that the rioters could throw.
In response to the riots, some schools were dismissed, and members of the National Guard were deployed to the streets of Baltimore to try to limit, or even stop, some of the destruction and acts of violence against the city. Apparently, minors dismissed from school joined the fight and helped perpetuate the vicious acts. Governor Larry Hogan stated that this would not happen again, and the streets would bear a much more considerable amount of law enforcement and National Guard members than on Monday night.
Caring citizens volunteered their time to help clean up the mess and damage left by the riots. Armed with brooms, shovels, garbage bags, and the love of their city, hundreds of these volunteers are managing to clean up after the riots. According to an article from CNN, “at least 15 officers were wounded, six of them seriously…” The Daum Weigle Security Update tweeted that the destruction of the city included “144 vehicles & 15 buildings on fire; 220 arrested…” Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore’s mayor, tweeted, “Seeing my city like this breaks my heart. But, like so many other Baltimoreans, my resolve is strong.” Cleanup crews have established an online help notification system using Google forms that allows citizens of Baltimore to directly contact volunteers to help clean up the area.
More on this story as it develops.