Baltimore Riots News Roundup
Police launches tear gas
Police has launched tear gas to demonstrators who refused to go home Tuesday night even after repeatedly being warned that the curfew has been enforced. At about 9:42 p.m., a speaker from a helicopter called for everyone to go home and for media staff and crew to move back.
However, demonstrators were persistent as they threw bottles to the police.
At about 10 p.m., police barricades thickened as demonstrators still refused to go home. At approximately 10:45 p.m., police started launching tear gas while protesters kicked each bottles back at them.
Earlier in the night, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for Baltimoreans to share positive pictures of Baltimore as City Council members made peace with gang members. There were dance troupes who were entertaining the crowd to promote a more peaceful ambiance.
Rawlings-Blake chose to stop referring to the demonstrators as “thugs,” like how U.S. President Obama did in his speech.
“We don’t have thugs in Baltimore. We have a lot of kids that are acting out, a lot of people in our community who are acting out, and the bad part of it is, we all know that on the other side of this they are going to regret what they’ve done,” the mayor was quoted as saying by the Baltimore Sun.
Rev. Frank Reid III of Bethel AME Church echoed the same message.
“There are no thugs in Baltimore. There are abused children, who are being abused by the cutbacks in education, cutbacks in housing. Abused people become abusers,” the reverend said.
Earlier in the day, Baltimoreans were hopeful that peace will ensue for the night. Residents cleared the streets from debris Monday night. There 2,000 people who volunteered to clean the community.
Various foundations donated funds to help Baltimore recover from the riots. The Baltimore Community Foundation has allotted a special fund to help the city “repair the physical and emotional damage” brought by the chaos. While Open Society Institute-Baltimore said that it is ready to spend resources to help.
Whole Foods under fire for distributing sandwiches to police
Whole Foods came under fire as it made sandwiches for the Baltimore Police and posting photos on the company’s Instagram.
“We teamed up with Whole Foods Mt. Washington to make sandwiches for the men and women keeping Baltimore safe. We are so thankful to have them here and they’re pumped for Turkey & Cheese!”
People were angry and criticized the company for choosing to be involved in the controversy. The company should instead feed the Baltimoreans who are much more in need, the people said.
Whole Foods spokesperson Katie Malloy said the company has since removed the Instagram post.
“We removed the post because it did not accurately reflect all our local stores are doing to feed people across this city, especially children. Again, we love our community, and will continue to support our city in the days to come, as we always do, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to those affected,” Malloy told ABC News.
“We’re all Baltimoreans and have supported community organizations for many years to improve lives around our city. Currently, we are providing food and water to children across our city by partnering with rec centers and community organizations, and have been doing so in parallel with providing food and water to first responders.”
Mom of the year
Toya Graham, the mom who berated his son after recognizing him among the rioters, said she only wanted to protect his son. She said she recognized her only son when they had eye contact.
“He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” Graham told CBS News.
Graham, now dubbed as mom of the year, repeatedly smacked her son after catching him among the youths throwing rocks and bottles to the police. Her reaction, caught on video, was posted on YouTube. The video has since gone viral with more than 1 million views to date.
People lauded Graham’s behavior, including Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
“I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight,” he said.
(See video below)
President Barack Obama responds to Baltimore riot
Mr Obama surprised the nation when he acknowledged that the root cause of the Baltimore riots was not something new and had been ongoing for a long time.
“This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new. The good news is that perhaps there’s some newfound awareness, because of social media and video cameras and so forth, that there are problems and challenges when it comes to how policing and our laws are applied in certain communities and we have to pay attention to it,” Mr Obama said in his speech.
“If our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could — it’s just that it would require everybody saying, ‘This is important, this is significant.’”
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