28 Apr 2015

State of emergency declared in Baltimore

2:52 pm on 28 April 2015

Violence erupted on the streets of Baltimore yesterday, hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who died in police custody earlier this month.

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Photo: AFP

Protesters clashed with police, pelting them with rocks, bricks and bottles. Police fired back with tear gas, pepper spray and batons.

Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to deal with the unrest.

CNN reports more than two dozen people have already been arrested and 15 officers have been injured. Two remain hospitalised, and the others have been released.

According to the Baltimore Sun, looters took to stores around the city, loading up cars with stolen goods. 

The city’s Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, declared a curfew across the Baltimore starting today. She condemned the violence and called the people looting “thugs”.

“It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody,” Rawlings-Blake said. 

Pastor Jamal Bryant, an organiser of protests in previous days, said that the violence "does not reflect the spirit of this movement". 

He said members of his church were going into the area to make appeals to the protestors to go home.

Freddie Gray died on Sunday, a week after he was arrested for illegal possession of a knife. His family says his spine was nearly severed at his neck.

The Wall Street Journal reports that six police officers have been suspended with pay as officials try to determine how Gray was injured. 

LISTEN: Clashes between protesters and police turn violent after Freddie Gray's funeral 

Cover photo: AFP