Hours after community members took to the streets of Baltimore this morning to help clean up after last night's violent protests, people have started protesting again today, this time with the National Guard on the scene.
Crowds of peaceful protestors have been reported since President Obama spoke in Baltimore this afternoon, but the crowds at North Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. appeared to have turned violent after someone threw an item at some nearby police officers.
A large crowd remains at North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave. The crowd is becoming aggressive and throwing items at police.— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) April 28, 2015
While things died down shortly after that, they now appear to be escalating:
Situation at Pennsylvania & North is VERY volatile pic.twitter.com/yC7gIVS2om— Yvonne Wenger (@yvonnewenger) April 28, 2015
Journalists reported that people have linked arms and created a barrier around the police to encourage nonviolence. The crowd then started to move.
Line of community members standing as buffer w police, now crowd is moving. pic.twitter.com/xruv909hyL— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 28, 2015
There is a double line blocking North Ave-- row of police and a line of people with arms locked urging non-violence pic.twitter.com/S7XJGbwv5m— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) April 28, 2015
There is tension at Pennsy and W North but also a sense among non-violent that they have superior numbers.— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) April 28, 2015
A tactical unit has arrived on the scene.
Bottle hurled, portion of crowd scatters but then reconvenes. It's tense. Many in crowd raise two fingers calling for peace.— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) April 28, 2015
In downtown Baltimore, shops have been seen boarding up windows and getting ready to close.
Just walking out the Sun to see two shops and a bar a block away with windows smashed in pic.twitter.com/pcBBjH09J5— Ian Duncan (@iduncan) April 28, 2015
The Maryland Governor Larry Hogan visited Baltimore this morning, and was seen surveying the damage and thanking those who pitched in to clean up. While people cleaned up the damage from the CVS store that was set on fire last night, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters, "What happened last night means that more people are struggling."
Last night, Gov. Hogan declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to assist local law enforcement. National Guard officers were lining the streets of Baltimore this morning.
According to Howard Libit, Baltimore's the director of strategic planning and policy, nearly 200 people have been arrested since protests started on Monday, and there have been 144 vehicle fires and 15 structure fires.
UPDATE 5:53 p.m.: There are reports that a 24-hour curfew will be in place for children and teenagers tomorrow, according to Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello. No word yet if there will be a curfew for adults.
UPDATE 6:33 p.m.: The official details of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake 24-hour curfew (posted on the Baltimore city website), which goes into effect tonight at 10:00 p.m. and applies to all citizens, not just the youth as was previously rumored, read as follows:
- The night-time curfew applies for all citizens (with exceptions of emergency personnel and those commuting to and from work for essential functions, including students traveling to/from classes).
- Non-essential business operations should be suspended from 10:00 pm until 5:00 am. This includes restaurants, entertainment venues, and bars, which should be closed during these times. Visitors and patrons should plan enough travel time before the curfew begins.
- For essential business operations, employees traveling to and from work during the curfew should have a valid picture ID (presumably a driver’s license) and a document from their employer stating their need to work during curfew hours with dates and employee hours.
- Drivers or individuals may be stopped by law enforcement and should be prepared with the information above to avoid arrest. Violation of the curfew is a misdemeanor.
UPDATE 7:00 p.m.:
UPDATE 7:11 p.m.: Follow the live press conference with Mayor Rawlings-Blake and community leaders. Commissioner Batts says curfew will be heavily enacted with help from outside resources (officers) from places like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, D.C., in addition to local law enforcement and the National Guard. Although he said today has been mostly peaceful.
Batts says he visited the hospitalized officers injured yesterday. They suffered bruises and other minor injuries, have since been released.