Baltimore Declares Emergency As Freddie Gray Riots Erupt

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The US city of Baltimore has declared a state of emergency amid violent protests linked to the death of a black man fatally injured in police custody. A week-long curfew has been announced and as many as 5,000 National Guard troops could be deployed. BBC was there:

After dark, a community building that was under construction was engulfed in flames. Earlier, dozens of people were seen confronting police, and 15 officers were injured. African American Freddie Gray, 25, died on 19 April after a week in a coma. The justice department is investigating exactly where and when his spinal injuries were sustained.

Officials have suspended six police officers who were involved in the case. Monday’s clashes began hours after Gray’s funeral. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it was very clear there was a difference between the “peaceful protests of those who seek justice” and the “thugs who want to incite violence”.

Authorities were “deploying every resource possible to regain control of the situation”, she said. Later, following violence, looting and fires in various spots across the city of more than 620,000 people, she said: “This destruction we’ve seen this evening is heart-breaking.”

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