PHOTOS: Nearly 200 arrested in Baltimore unrest, residents turnout to sweep up
BALTIMORE (AP) :
National Guardsmen fanned out across the city, police with riot shields blocked streets, and firefighters doused smoldering blazes today after looting and arson erupted following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody.
It was the first time the National Guard was called out to quell unrest in Baltimore since 1968, when some of the same neighborhoods burned after the assassination of the Rev Martin Luther King Jr.
The rioting started in West Baltimore yesterday afternoon - within a mile of where Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested and placed into a police van earlier this month - and by midnight had spread to East Baltimore and neighborhoods close to downtown and near the baseball stadium.
At least 15 officers were hurt, including six who were hospitalised. There were 144 vehicle fires, 15 structure fires and nearly 200 arrests.
The streets were calm this morning. Residents came out to sweep up the broken glass and other debris. Firefighters sprayed the burned-out shell of a large building. The city was under a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew beginning today, and all Baltimore public schools were closed.
"We're not going to leave the city unprotected," Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vowed during a visit in the morning to a West Baltimore intersection that yesterday was littered with burning cars, a smashed police vehicle and broken glass.
Gray's death under still-mysterious circumstances has become the latest flash point in the nation's debate over the police use of force against black men.
The rioting was the worst such violence in the US since the turbulent protests that broke out over the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer.