Uncategorized Baltimore residents begin riot cleanup amid new protests

Baltimore residents begin riot cleanup amid new protests

People work to clean up a looted and burned CVS store in Baltimore
People work to clean up a looted and burned CVS store in Baltimore

 (AA) – Baltimore woke up to a more tranquil Tuesday after a day and night of rioting and violence in the city. 

Residents and their children gathered in front of a local drug store that was looted during clashes between rioters and police, to clean the streets and stores of remaining debris from Monday’s rioting and looting that erupted following the funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died from a severed spine while in police custody, a week after his arrest.

“The intentions are to rebuild Baltimore. Yesterday we have seen children tear down, now the adults are going to get out here – do their part to take responsibility and clean up for the children’s mess,” said Cara, a Baltimore resident who did not give her last name.

The National Guard has been deployed around the City Hall area where looting and clashes took place, while Baltimore police have control over the rest of the city.

The Baltimore Police Department reported 235 arrests while 20 officers were injured and a dozens structures set on fire during the riots. 

More than 140 vehicles, including police patrol cars, were also vandalized.

As the cleanup continued, small protestor groups gathered downtown around noon as police helicopters hovered above. 

Most shopping malls and stores in the city remained closed and area schools were also closed in an effort to stem fresh clashes. 

President Barack Obama sharply condemned Monday’s violence.

“When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement, they’re stealing,” said Obama. “That is not a protest, that is not a statement, it’s a handful of people taking advantage of the situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals.”

The president said that since last August, when black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, there have been “too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions.” 

Several religious and of civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Nation of Islam – two of the most respected black organizations in the U.S., reportedly came to the city to help restore calm. 

Ashley Dewoy, 19, said even those who are looting are doing it because they don’t have a voice.

Nation of Islam member Muhammad Abdul said he came to the city to help restore peace, particularly among the city’s youth. 

“Police is killing black youth, the protestors commit violence in a way to balance the police brutality but this is not a proper way to respond,” said Abdul. 

Jacky Folk, a 37-year-old black man, offered his own insights. “I have been in Baltimore for more than four-and-a-half years. This city is the most segregated city I have ever lived in.” 

“Black people stay where they are supposed to stay, white people stay where they are supposed to stay and pretty much the white people get everything,” he added. 

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