Peaceful Protest Ends in Clash With Baltimore Police

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On Saturday afternoon, around 1,000 people took to the streets of Baltimore to protest the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who recently died from injuries he sustained in the custody of the city’s police department. For six hours, the protesters peacefully made their way from a West Baltimore housing project to City Hall while chanting slogans, holding signs, and blocking traffic. But as evening approached, as many as 100 demonstrators left the rally and, according to the New York Times, went “on a rampage, throwing cans, bottles and trash bins at police officers, and breaking windows in some businesses.”

The group eventually made its way to Camden Yards, where they smashed several police cars and clashed with cops in riot gear. The Washington Post reports that “[at] 8 p.m., a police helicopter flying overhead broadcast that those in the remaining crowd would be arrested if they did not disperse. Twelve people who appeared to be causing the most trouble were arrested, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said at a news conference. The others dispersed.”

At one point, fans who had gone to Camden Yards to see the Orioles–Red Sox game were ordered to stay inside the stadium, though they were allowed to leave after about 25 minutes:


On Saturday night, Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called a press conference at City Hall. There, Gray’s twin sister, Fredericka, asked for calm: “My family wants to say: Can y’all please, please stop the violence? Freddie Gray would not want that,” she said. “Freddie’s father and mother don’t want no violence. Violence does not get justice.”

The Baltimore Sun reports that six officers sustained minor injuries during the confrontation, and a total of 34 people were arrested. Reuters photographer Sait Serkan Gurbuz was among those detained, though the Sun reports that he was released “as soon as [the police] realized who he was.” (In a statement, Reuters said, “Serkan was on a public sidewalk and the events were happening in plain view. We do not agree with the police’s citation for ‘failure to obey orders,’ as Serkan backed away from the scene when the police demanded that he do so, or with the way in which he was treated by the police.”) Meanwhile, Washington City Paper photo editor J.M. Giordano was tackled and beaten by the police: