BALTIMORE (CN) – Protests erupted in northwest Baltimore after the funeral Monday of a 25-year-old black man who suffered a critical spinal injury while in police custody.
Police formed barricades up and down North Avenue, then deployed tear gas and used rubber bullets against oncoming protesters. Protesters responded by pelting police vehicles with rocks, bottles and bricks. At least two police vehicles were overtaken by protesters and started on fire.
Amid the smell of burning vehicles and pepper spray, chants of “No Justice, No Peace” filled the streets, while some protesters carried signs asking for justice for Freddie Gray, whose funeral occurred earlier that afternoon at New Shiloh Baptist Church.
In light of the increasing tension and violence, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency at 8:30 p.m. and Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake issued a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Many local businesses had windows busted out, and looting was rampant as cases of beer and bottles of liquor were carried away down the street.
Police reported that at least 15 officers sustained injuries in the protests, which began about 3 p.m. near Mondawmin Mall, not far from the New Shiloh.
Gov. Hogan later signed the executive order declaring a state of emergency and activating the Maryland National Guard. More than 5,000 guardsmen took to the streets in an attempt to curtail the violence.
Earlier Monday afternoon, the threat of protests caused closures to Baltimore City Circuit Court; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; Lexington Market; and businesses, including T. Rowe Price and Venable LLP.
By early afternoon public transportation began to shut down and light-rail and busses were no longer taking passengers south into the city. Bus lines around the protests were completely shut down, leaving many without rides out of the protest area
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