theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Monday, April 27, 2015

Savages on the Loose in Baltimore


DEVELOPING: Several police officers were injured and gangs in Baltimore threatened to continue attacks on them Monday as police sought to disperse protesters throwing rocks and blocking traffic near a busy mall area following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody earlier this month.
The protests and threats of further violence followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died  April 18, a week after being injured while in police custody. Gray, 25, was being transported in a police vehicle when he suffered injuries that proved fatal. His attorney claims his spine was severed.
On Monday, tweets from the Baltimore Police Department said "a group of juveniles in the area of the Mondawmin Mall" were blocking traffic, while there are reports of rock throwing. Armored SWAT vehicles were on the scene, but police were asking protesters "to remain peaceful." Meanwhile, nearby University of Maryland-Baltimore has closed its campus, as have many area businesses.
"It's a group of lawless individuals," said Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk. "What we know is that they are a group of criminals with no regard for the people in the community."
A police source told Fox News several gangs, including Black Gorilla Family, Bloods and Crypts all had entered into a contract to attack police. A police captain said at a press conference said seven police officers had been injured, one rendered unconscious.
Six Baltimore police officers were suspended after Gray's arrest and injury, but a probe into the circumstances is ongoing. His attorney, Bill Murphy, told mourners at Monday's funeral at New Shiloh Baptist church that the community will continue to pressure officials for answers.
"This is our moment to get at truth. This is our moment to get it right," Murphy said.
Gray's death has prompted near-daily demonstrations. Gray was arrested one week before he died when officers chased him through a West Baltimore neighborhood and dragged him into a police van.
Police said Gray was arrested after he made eye contact with officers and ran away. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into the van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police have said.
Gray asked for medical help several times, beginning before he was placed in the van. After a 30-minute ride that included three stops, paramedics were called.
Authorities have not explained how or when Gray's spine was injured.
Police acknowledged Friday that Gray should have received medical attention on the spot where he was arrested -- before he was put inside a police transport van handcuffed and without a seat belt, a violation of the police department's policy

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