Streets in Baltimore looked like a war zone Tuesday morning, buildings and cars across the city were engulfed in flames in what seems to be one of the most explosive outbreaks of violence prompted by a police-involved death in the U.S.
This happened just hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.
Rioters looted stores, hurled rocks and bricks at police, injuring at least seven officers, as cars and a buildings were set on fire.
The destruction across Baltimore was so severe that Baltimore City Public School cancelled all classes for today.
In a statement police commissioner Anthony Batts disclosed “Yes, we planned for it. That wasn’t the issue,” Batts told reporters late Monday. “We just had too many people out there [for us] to overcome the numbers we had.” The commissioner added that the rioters had pulled his officers to “opposite ends of the city” and had “outnumbered us and outflanked us.”
The outbreak of violence, forced Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency, activating the natonal Guard, and prompting Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to announce a weeklong 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew, immidiately.
Rawlings-Blake described Monday as “one of our darkest days as a city” as she surveyed fire damage.
“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” she added. “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”
More than two dozen people were arrested in the riot.