Sol­diers de­scend on Bal­ti­more af­ter ri­ots and fires paralyze city


Mary­land con­gress­man Eli­jah Cum­mings and about 200 oth­ers, in­clud­ing min­is­ters, tried un­suc­cess­fully to quell the vi­o­lence at one point Mon­day night, march­ing arm-in­arm through a neigh­bor­hood lit­tered with bro­ken glass, flat­tened alu­minum cans and other de­bris. As they got close to a line of po­lice of­fi­cers, the marchers went down on their knees. They then rose to their feet and walked un­til they were face-to- face with the po­lice of­fi­cers in a tight for­ma­tion and wear­ing riot gear.

But the vi­o­lence con­tin­ued, with loot­ers later set­ting a liquor store on fire and throw­ing cin­der blocks at fire trucks as fire­fight­ers la­bored to put out the blazes.

Mon­day’s riot was the lat­est flareup over the death of Gray and came amid a na­tional de­bate over po­lice use of force fol­low­ing the high­pro­file deaths of sev­eral black men in en­coun­ters with po­lice — from the Brown death in Fer­gu­son to the deaths of Eric Gar­ner in New York and Wal­ter Scott in North Charles- ton, South Carolina.

Gray was black. Po­lice have de­clined to spec­ify the races of the six of­fi­cers in­volved in his ar­rest, all of whom have been suspended with pay while they are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

While they are an­gry about what hap­pened to Gray, his fam­ily said ri­ots are not the an­swer.

“I think the vi­o­lence is wrong,” Gray’s twin sis­ter, Fred­er­icka Gray, said late Mon­day. “I don’t like it at all.”

The at­tor­ney for Gray’s fam­ily, Billy Mur­phy, said the fam­ily had hoped to or­ga­nize a peace march later in the week.

Hours be­fore the ri­ots be­gan Mon­day, mourn­ers filled the 2,500-ca­pac­ity New Shiloh Bap­tist church to at­tend Fred­die Gray’s fu­neral.

Gray was ar­rested on April 12 af­ter mak­ing eye con­tact with of­fi­cers and then run­ning away, po­lice said. He was held down, hand­cuffed and loaded into a van with­out a seat belt. Leg cuffs were put on him when he be­came irate in­side.

He asked for med­i­cal help sev­eral times even be­fore be­ing put in the van, but paramedics were not called un­til af­ter a 30-minute ride. Po­lice have ac­knowl­edged he should have re­ceived med­i­cal at­ten­tion on the spot where he was ar­rested, but they have not said how he suf­fered a se­ri­ous spine in­jury. He died April 19.


A man throws a brick at po­lice Mon­day fol­low­ing the fu­neral of Fred­die Gray in Bal­ti­more.

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