Riots in Baltimore: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Young children sweep up the area outside the CVS Pharmacy in Baltimore. (Getty)

More than 200 people were arrested, 144 vehicle fires were set and 15 structures burned Monday during riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, the mayor’s office said.

As smoke lifted from the city Tuesday and the National Guard took up defensive posts, many people were still on the streets near burned out buildings, including a CVS Pharmacy in West Baltimore, just blocks from where Gray was arrested, that was torched after looting. But there were signs of hope as hundreds of city residents gathered to cleanup after the devastation that struck the Charm City Monday afternoon and overnight.

The 25-year-old Gray died April 19 as a result of injuries he suffered while in police custody a week earlier. Gray suffered a spinal injury. Police have not yet said how Gray died.

The Maryland National Guard arrived in the city Tuesday after Governor Larry Hogan activated a state of emergency. A citywide curfew for adults and juveniles is set to begin Tuesday night and the city’s schools were cancelled Tuesday.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Twitter, “This is one of our darkest days. But I am confident that the will of good can overcome the destructive interest of a few.” She later added, “Seeing my city like this breaks my heart. But, like so many Baltimoreans, my resolve is strong.”

Here’s what you need to know about the unrest in Baltimore:

1. The Rioting Began After Groups of Teens Began Clashing With Officers Near a Mall After School

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High school students ciruclated this flyer on social media calling for a “purge.” (Instagram)

According to CNN, the protest was planned by students at local high schools. They said they headed to the area near the mall after school. The Baltimore Sun reported that a “purge” was planned by the students. The Sun reported that the University of Maryland-Baltimore closed early as a result:

Due to reports from the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) concerning scheduled activities today beginning at 3 p.m., UMB will close today at 2 p.m. at the recommendation of the BPD. These activities may be potentially violent and UMB could be in the path of any violence. The safety of our students and employees is of paramount importance please vacate the campus as soon as possible.

A local CVS was later looted and set on fire. When firefighters responded, rioters could be seen on live CNN video cutting the hoses.

Looting also later began at the mall where the demonstrations began:

And a major fire broke out at a recently built senior center:

2. At Least 15 Officers Were Injured During the Protests



Police said the some of the 15 officers injured have broken bones and one is “unresponsive.” Officers could be seen receiving treatment from fellow cops on live video. Six of the officers were seriously injured, police said.

“We will find the people responsible and put them in jail,” police said.

3. Police Said They Have a ‘Credible Threat’ About Gang Violence Against Officers



According to police, they received a “credible threat” from an informant about potential gang violence targeting officers in the city.

Police said the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods and Crips have entered in a partnership to “take out” Baltimore police officers.

4. Freddie Gray’s Funeral Was Held on Monday & His Family Asked For No Protests



The family had asked for no protesting or demonstrations on Monday as Gray was laid to rest. They had also called for protests to remain peaceful.

According to The Associated Press, thousands attended the funeral.

The family’s attorney said at the funeral, “This is our moment to get at truth. This is our moment to get it right,” Murphy said.

Rev. Jamal Bryant, who gave the eulogy for Gray, said, “Freddie’s death is not in vain,” Bryant said. “After this day, we’re going to keep on marching. After this day, we’re going to keep demanding justice.”

Family and dignitaries unite for Freddie Gray's funeralFamily members, friends and several dignitaries spoke and commented on the life of Freddie Gray at his funeral.2015-04-27T18:34:29.000Z

5. The Investigation Into Gray’s Death Is Still Ongoing



Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

Gray was arrested April 12 by four officers outside a public housing complex. Police have not yet said why Gray was arrested. Police said four bicycle officers tried to stop Gray for an unspecified reason and he ran from them. They caught him and detained him while waiting for backup.

Bystanders captured the end of his arrest on cell phone video (watch it above) as he was loaded into a police transport van. An ambulance was called to the police station 30 minutes later to take Gray to a hospital.

Police said the video does not show any use of force by the officers, according to The Associated Press. Witnesses can be heard screaming at the officers, saying Gray’s legs looked broken as the officers dragged him to a transport vehicle.

According to charging documents acquired by the Guardian, police claim Gray was injured while being transported to the Western District headquarters in the van, not during the arrest, which was made without force, police claim.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Twitter on Sunday, “Right now we are still collecting details surrounding this incident, but I want our residents to know that we will get answers.”

Rawlings-Blake said on CNN that the officers possibly facing criminal charges or discipline have not yet been interviewed because of Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. According to the Baltimore Sun, officers are not allowed to be questioned until days after the incident.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a press conference that “all lives matter,” after issuing sympathies to Gray’s family.

Officials said a task force will review the incident including training and lab personnel, homicide investigators and force investigation, according to the Baltimore Sun. An independent “blue ribbon” panel will also review the case against the officers after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby decides whether to file criminal charges.

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