WASHINGTON – Baltimore was under siege Saturday following a march by thousands on City Hall to protest the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who died from injuries while in police custody.
Some protesters broke off from the main march, breaking police lines and trashing businesses, cars, throwing cans, bottles and trash at cops, baseball fans trying to get to the Camden Yards game between the Orioles and the Red Sox, restaurants and storefronts.
At least three people were taken into custody and there were at least two injuries.
A group of some 100 protesters broke out a window of a department store with a chair they looted from a nearby restaurant, according to eyewitnesses. No police responded. The same group was seen breaking windows of bars and restaurants, including a Subway sandwich shop near Camden Yards, tossing chairs and tables through the glass.
At least two bystanders – a man and woman – were observed bleeding from the head. Some people were struck by beer cans, bottles and trash cans.
Baltimore police called for backup from reserve and off-duty officers.
One protester was seen breaking out a window of a police cruiser, grabbing a police cap inside and wearing it while standing on top of the cruiser with several other protesters. Scores of officers rushed into the area, stopped and formed a line, three officers deep. The protesters scattered but returned a few minutes later and began yelling “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
Earlier in the day, a crowd demonstrated while chanting “all night all day we will fight for Freddie Gray” and waving signs that read “racism is a disease, revolution is the cure.”
Marchers paused for a moment of silence in front of Shock Trauma hospital, where Gray died a week ago from a traumatic spine injury he suffered while in police custody.
Gray was arrested April 12 after he made eye contact with officers and ran away, police said. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into a police van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police have said. Gray was not buckled with a seat belt, a violation of the police department’s policy. The case is still under investigation by the department. Six officers involved have been suspended with pay during the probe.
Baltimore siege over police-custody death
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 01:57:37 GMT