Baltimore protests turn violent after death of arrested man
BALTIMORE (AP) -- A protest over the death of Freddie Gray, who was critically injured in police custody, started peacefully with thousands marching through downtown streets before the demonstration turned violent and volatile.
"My family wants to say, can you all please, please stop the violence?" Fredricka Gray said. "Freddie Gray would not want this."
Just before nightfall Saturday, groups of protesters marched from City Hall to the Camden Yards baseball stadium, where the Baltimore Orioles played the Boston Red Sox. Fans were told to briefly stay inside the stadium until the police were able to clear an intersection outside of the venue.
Earlier, a group of protesters smashed the windows of at least three police cars and got into fights with baseball fans outside a bar.
"I'm proud of our residents," Batts said. "The majority of the people here did a great job."
"Unfortunately a small group of agitators turned what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration into a violent protest. This is something that's unacceptable to me and everyone who lives in Baltimore," she said.
Police acknowledged Friday that Gray, 25, should have received medical attention at 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.
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.
On Saturday afternoon, protesters gathered at the site of Gray's arrest in the Sandtown neighborhood of West Baltimore before making their way to City Hall.
"I'm trying to do everything in my limbs, everything in my power, to make this a better world for her," he said as he held a drawing of Gray being hoisted from a police van to heaven by two angels. "I'm here to do what I can. Police brutality is as old as the 1950s, 1960s. It's still here."
"It could have been my brother, my father," he said. "I'd want the same support."
"This is a problem that has not been solved," he said. "When there's no justice, they tend to want to take matters into their own hands."