Fragile Peace and Tension in Baltimore

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Workers of the Baltimore CVS store come in Tuesday to clean up the mess left behind by young looters Monday afternoon.

Updated 9:25 p.m. ET, April 29, 2015

Thousands of people are marching tonight in Washington, DC and New York to return the focus back to Freddie Gray. On CNN, some protestors in Baltimore chanted “Black lives matter” as the curfew was approaching. CNN reports Baltimore Police have made 18 arrests today before the 10 p.m. curfew goes into effect. They arrested 10 people last night for violating the curfew.

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET, April 28, 2015

A curfew, starting at 10 p.m  goes into effect today after a peaceful protest turned into a violent riot in west Baltimore, Maryland on Monday night, April 27th.  The out-of-control melee erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray.  Police cars, vehicles and buildings were set on fire. Numerous juveniles were caught on video…looting a CVS drug store and other businesses.

Tonight there are 2,000 National Guard troops and 1,000 police officers in riot gear in Baltimore to restore order, according to CNN.

Gray, an African American, 25, suffered a spinal cord injury and died after police arrested him earlier this month. Gray’s mother at the funeral pleaded for calm in her son’s memory.

African American community leaders and residents of the area where the rioting happened told reporters  today that Monday night’s level of rioting is more likely related to the simmering frustration due to the area’s high unemployment, crime and unfavorable social conditions for decades.

Baltimore’s African American Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake blamed the violence and trouble on “thugs” and said it was idiotic to think destroying property and looting makes life better for anyone. The mayor asked Maryland’s governor for help. Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Baltimore and also asked for law enforcement help from other states.

One irate African American mother, Toya Graham saw her masked son throwing rocks at police Monday afternoon. Graham confronted her 16-year-old son, Michael.  Graham  yanked, smacked, screamed at her teenage son dressed in a hoodie as she pulled him away from the rioting and took him straight home.

“That’s my only son. At the end of the day,  I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” Graham said in an interview with CBS News.

Graham who recently lost her job as a home healthcare worker, said she didn’t care if her son was embarrassed.  The WJZ-TV video of Graham and her son has gone viral.

Many praised Graham’s tough parenting on her son and some called her a hero, parent and mother of the year.

A group of Christian and Muslim community leaders and pastors also formed a line Monday afternoon to stop young people from participating in the violent protest.

Source:  Baltimore Sun, NBC News, CNN, WJZ-TV (CBS)

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