Looting and violence has taken over Baltimore on Monday, hours after Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody, was laid to rest.
In response to chaos, Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. 1500 members have been called in, including hundreds from surrounding counties, to deal with the unruly protesters.
Earlier today, at least seven officers were injured — with one left unresponsive — when teenagers pelted cops with rocks in a Northwest Baltimore neighborhood in the vicinity of the funeral. Most of the protesters were thought to have come from nearby high school after a flier circulated on social media calling for violence.
As of Monday evening, unruliness has ensued throughout the city, with police in riot gear using tear gas and more to combat protesters. The mayor of Baltimore said every possible resource was being deployed to "gain control of this situation." More than 15 officers have been injured according to a spokesperson for the police department, who describes the situation as "unprecedented."
"What we see tonight that is going on in our city is very disturbing," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters. "Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who — in a very senseless way — are trying to tear down what so many have fought for."
Gray's death is the latest in a string of incidents in which young, often unarmed Black men have lost their lives at the hands of police and vigilantes. The disintegrating relationship between the Black community and law enforcement has raised a national dialogue about race and the treatment of Black youths.
A grand jury's failure to indict the officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner last year lead to protests in Brown's hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City, where Garner lived, and across the country.
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