The city of Baltimore erupted in violence on Monday as hundreds of rioters looted stores, burned buildings and injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody.
The riots broke out just a few blocks from the funeral of Freddie Gray and then spread through much of West Baltimore in the most violent U.S. demonstrations since arson and shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. A large fire consumed a senior center under construction near a church in East Baltimore on Wednesday night, television reports showed, but it was not immediately clear if it was related to the riots.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard as firefighters battled blazes set by looters. Police made at least 27 arrests and Baltimore schools said they would be closed on Tuesday. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blakecalledthe rioters “thugs” and imposed a citywide curfew for adults beginning Tuesday night, with exceptions for work and medical emergencies. Gray’s death on April 19 reignited a public outcry over police treatment of African Americans that flared last year after the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere.