Tempers boil over in Baltimore

A state of emergency is in effect in Baltimore, Maryland after a night of rioting.Troops from the National Guard are positioned with police around the city today. At least 200 people have been arrested following the violence yesterday, but over 2,000 are outside today peacefully cleaning the place they call home. Community members of Baltimore continue to sweep away the remnants of the violent riots yesterday. Rage has gripped the city, but residents want to do their part to clean the mess. Hundreds were seen yesterday running wild in the streets, looting businesses, burning buildings and cars. Vandals also threw bricks, rocks and bottles at police, injuring more than a dozen officers. Two are still in serious condition at the hospital. The violence exploded in the hours just after the funeral service for Freddie Gray. He died more than a week ago after being severely injured while in police custody. With the chaos on the streets yesterday Maryland’s governor declared a state of emergency. 5,000 troops from the national guard are dispersed throughout the city alongside Baltimore Police. Gerald Stansbury, president of the NAACP Maryland branch says Gray’s death is just another example of a black life being lost at the hands of police. “Baltimore has a long history of police brutality and racial profiling and Mr Gray’s death represents another example in a series of tragedies of black lives being lost at the hands of someone in blue uniforms.”Buildings and cars were set on fire, and there were a number of clashes with police. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has imposed a curfew set to go into effect tonight between 10 pm and 5 am. She has been taking a lot of heat from residents who believe the mayor didn’t act fast enough as the situation unfolded yesterday. “I understand that from the outside you don’t know — you can’t see everything that I see. You don’t know all of the different moving pieces.”“I know in order for me to respond I have to do the work. While I have an obligation as the chief spokesperson I also have an obligation as chief executive and that work needed to be done.”“We worked swiftly and it is a very delicate balancing act when we have to make sure we are managing, but not increasing and escalating the problem.”A mother recognized her teenage son in the group of rioters. She grabbed her child and started smacking him on the head. It was all captured on video. Her son had just thrown rocks towards police, and that is when the mother stepped into action. While he managed to break free of his mom’s grasp, she kept him away from the rest of the teens involved in the violence. The police commissioner says this mother has set a good example of how parents should react to such horrifying acts by their children.The Baltimore Orioles postponed last night’s game and will also be postponing tonight’s game against the White Sox following the riots. Public schools are also closed today and all school trips from the surrounding area to Baltimore have been cancelled. Streets are calm but police are still guarding the city, preparing for the mandatory curfew tonight. read more