BALTIMORE, MD – They won’t be playing baseball in Baltimore again today, and the people of Baltimore are hoping they won’t have another day and night like they had yesterday.
"We're going to get through this,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “It was a very dark day for our city but it will not define us."
An unknown number of thugs and hooligans turned protests over police brutality into looting and, in some cases, arson following the funeral for Freddie Gray, violence his mother, Gloria Darden, and family don’t want. "I want y'all to get justice for my son, but don't do it like this here. Don't tear up the whole city then just for him. It's wrong.”
The protests turned into clashes with police that led to more than 200 arrests and to the injuries of fifteen police officers, six of them hospitalized with serious injuries.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says many of the rioters appear to be high school students. "If you saw on one scene, you had one mother who grabbed her child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight."
Rev. Jamal Bryant, who delivered Freddie Gray's eulogy, claims he and other clergy members met with leaders of Baltimore's street gangs Monday night. "Gang leaders have a whole lot of influence in major cities across America. And they came and said they would partner with us to, one, stop the rioting and to corral the young people to do the positive thing."
Maryland’s governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, bringing in state troopers and hundreds of armed national guardsmen who will be joined by hundreds of police officers from outside of Baltimore.
“The violence that happened yesterday distracted from the fact that you had seen multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on entirely legitimate concerns of these communities in Baltimore,” Hogan said.
The violence that led to the cancellation of the Monday and Tuesday Orioles games with the White Sox has resulted in a possible swing and a miss with fans.
The team announced that Wednesday’s game will go as scheduled, but it will be closed to the public. The cancelled games will be played next month as a single-admission double-header.
About 40 miles from Baltimore is Washington, D.C. where President Obama gave his take on the violence. “The violence that happened yesterday distracted from the fact that you had seen multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on entirely legitimate concerns of these communities in Baltimore.”
Here’s a bit of irony: all that looting and burning in Baltimore came one week before the start of national arson awareness week. Something tells us the people of Baltimore are very aware of that today.