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28 April 2015 - Chaos in Baltimore


Baltimore descends into chaos, violence, looting
Kevin Rector, Scott Dance and Luke Broadwater (The Chicago Tribune)

After almost two weeks of tension over the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore descended into chaos Monday.

Roaming gangs of mostly young men clashed with police in the streets, seriously injuring officers; tore open businesses; and looted their stocks. Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard, and state police requested as many as 5,000 reinforcements from neighboring states.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a weeklong citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Tuesday.

Rawlings-Blake blamed the mayhem on "thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city." She joined a chorus of officials and residents, some of whom fought off rioters to defend their homes and businesses.

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Context
 
Riot erupts in Baltimore after funeral for Freddie Gray
Jessica Gresko (The Star)

Gray was arrested one week before he died when officers chased him through a West Baltimore neighbourhood and dragged him into a police van.

Police said Gray was arrested after he made eye contact with officers and ran away. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into the van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police have said.

Gray asked for medical help several times, beginning before he was placed in the van. After a 30-minute ride that included three stops, paramedics were called.

Authorities have not explained how or when Gray’s spine was injured.

Police acknowledged Friday that Gray should have received medical attention on the spot where he was arrested — before he was put inside a police transport van handcuffed and without a seat belt, a violation of the police department’s policy.

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Obama
 
Obama pledges "assistance as needed" for Baltimore riots as Maryland governor calls up National Guard
Staff (Fox News)

President Obama pledged late Monday to provide assistance "as needed" to stop the roving gangs who attacked Baltimore police, injuring 15, and looted stores, setting at least one ablaze.

Obama was briefed on the situation by just sworn-in U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and afterward pledged his administration’s commitment to provide assistance if necessary, according to the White House. The statement came about an hour after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan activated the Maryland National Guard to help restore order.

Lynch assured Obama that the Justice Department “stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there,” the White House added. The agency is already investigating possible civil rights violations by the Baltimore City Police Department in connection with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. He was taken into police custody April 12, suffered an unexplained spinal injury and died April 19.

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Fear
 
Intel warning: Gang attacks on white cops might spread outside Baltimore
Rowan Scarborough and Maggie Ybarra (The Washington Post)

Law enforcement intelligence officials have put out a warning that someone has sent a text calling on people to kill “all white police officers” in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray while in Baltimore police custody, raising fears violence could spread nationally, according to safety memos obtained by The Washington Times.

Officers are being warned of possible ambushes and urged to change travel patterns and to tone down clothes or emblems that identify them as police.

The Baltimore police department separately put out a press release on Monday saying various gangs, including the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips “haver entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement.”

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Last update April 28, 2015
Créé le April 28, 2015
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues