Gov. declares state of emergency; activates National Guard
TDC Note – There is a series of videos associated with this article. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the code for any them to deliver here. Click the WBalTV link below to access. from WBalTV h/t WhatReallyHappened.com BALTIMORE —Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard after police officers were injured and fires were set throughout the city. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter David Collins reported at 10:50 p.m. that National Guard trucks were seen leaving Camp Fretterd. “I did not make this decision lightly. The National Guard represents a last resort in order to restore order. People have the right to protest and express their frustration, but Baltimore City families deserve peace and safety in their communities, and these acts of violence and destruction of property cannot and will not be tolerated,” Hogan said. “He has access to our full compliment that’s here within the state, which means up to about 5,000 troops that can be put onto the streets to protect property and people. I would highly recommend that we all go in and take cover for the night and actually go to sleep and get some rest and let things settle down so that we can restore order to the city,” Maryland National Guard Gen. Linda Singh said. Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. William Pallozzi said state police will work with local law enforcement leaders to divide up the city in sectors. “The city has asked us to take over. Currently, state police Superintendent Bill Pallozzi is in charge and will be in direct communication with the city, the mayor, with the city police and Gen. Singh will be providing backup assistance to the state police. We’ll be coordinating with police from other counties around the state and from police that we get from other states around the region,” Hogan said. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has issued a citywide curfew to start Tuesday night. Speaking Monday evening, the mayor issued a general curfew to start at 10 p.m. and last until 5 a.m. each night starting Tuesday night until May 4. The curfew starts at 9 p.m. for those 14 and under. “This is one of our darkest days. We are better than this. I understand anger, but this is not anger. This is destruction,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. “We will bring order. It’s very clear, I’m not interested in exacerbating the situation. We will have peace.” “We will bring order to this chaos. It is extremely heartbreaking. I was born and raised here. We know how hard people work. What does it solve? You can’t care about your community and do what they did,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I think the curfew is going to help us get the city under control,” Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. Police officers were injured, stores were looted and fires were set Monday as vandals ran through Baltimore. “This is not protesting. This is not your First Amendment rights. This is just criminal acts,” Batts said. City police say as many as 15 officers have been injured Monday afternoon in northwest Baltimore, where a large group of juveniles converged and began to throw bricks and other items at officers. The officers were injured with broken bones and cuts, and one was unresponsive. A multiple-alarm fire engulfed a newly constructed building in east Baltimore Monday evening. The CVS store at North and Pennsylvania avenues was set on fire around 6:15 p.m. Police have asked motorists to avoid the area of North Avenue between Monroe Street and Druid Hill Avenue. SkyTeam 11 video showed the same CVS was being looted around 4:45 p.m. It all started at Mondawmin Mall, which closed early. SkyTeam 11 video showed a large group of juveniles congregating in the vicinity shortly before 3 p.m. The violence later returned to the mall, where, police said, there have been reports of several people inside the mall, looting and destroying property. Baltimore police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said police are not speculating what the disturbances are related to, but are making sure people in the community and officers are safe. “I know that the images people are seeing on TV are very disturbing. Our highest priority, our first focus right now is to protect the lives of our officers that are out on the street and the people that live and work in that area,” Kowalczyk said. Kowalczyk said they know officers are in harm’s way, and are using tear gas and pepper balls. “As the night goes on, you’re going to see us using tear gas and other crowd control techniques so that we can have this end peacefully without any more injuries to our officers or any of the people that are in that community,” Kowalczyk said. A WBAL-TV 11 News crew at the mall reported juveniles were throwing rocks and other items. Rocks, bricks and broken glass lay strewn throughout the streets, and a recycling container was lit on fire. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Barry Simms came across a resident, Cindy, who was sweeping the street after the vandals moved through her neighborhood. “I have to ride up and down the street because I have to go to work, and I don’t want to be rolling over bricks and nails and things. I have enough problems with my car tires and I don’t need to be rolling over top of this, and my back is killing me but I have to get this mess out of the street. It started out peaceful and then ends up like this, it’s crazy. I’ve seen stuff like this on the news in other cities but I never thought I’d see it in front of my doorstep. It’s crazy,” she said. According to police, several people in the group were reported to be armed with sticks, bricks and other weapons. “The level of violence that you saw earlier today, the number of officers that we have that were injured, we can’t allow that to happen,” Kowalczyk said. “The people that are out there right now destroying other individuals’ cars, property, money businesses, we’re going to investigate and we’re going to find those people and we’re going to take people into custody.” A large group surrounded a police car at North and Pennsylvania avenues, destroying the car, police said. “The group is damaging additional police cars in the area. The group is aggressive and violent,” police tweeted. A person inside the 7-Eleven store across from the mall told 11 News that a group of young people came into the store from the side and began throwing balls in the store, damaging things in the store and breaking bottles in the store. Some also stole items and then ran away. That person said a police officer was in the store being treated for an injury on his left hand. A group was breaking into businesses and damaging property in the area of West North and Pennsylvania avenues. “We don’t want to arrest any more people, we want to see this come to a peaceful resolution, we want people to go home, we want parents to get their children and to bring them home,” Kowalczyk said. At the request of the Baltimore police commissioner, the Maryland State Police sent 42 troopers to Baltimore early Monday afternoon. At 4 p.m. Monday, another 40 troopers were ordered to duty and will be deploying to Baltimore early Monday evening to join the troopers already there. Troopers are being deployed where needed at the direction of Baltimore Police Department commanders. State officials said later Monday evening that the state police will be in charge of all law enforcement operations to get the city under control. The governor’s office released a statement late Monday afternoon, saying: “I strongly condemn the actions of the offenders who are engaged in direct attacks against innocent civilians, businesses and law enforcement officers. There is a significant difference between protesting and violence and those committing these acts will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women in uniform who are actively working to stem this violence and several who been injured in the line of duty. These malicious attacks against law enforcement and local communities only betray the cause of peaceful citizens seeking answers and justice following the death of Freddie Gray.” Later in the evening, Hogan said at a press conference that activating the National Guard to help police was a last resort to deal with “lawless gangs and thugs” who are damaging property. He said he’ll use every available asset and as much manpower as it takes to get the situation under control. Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County police departments have sent dozens of officers to assist in Baltimore City. Downtown businesses, institutions close early Some businesses and institutions in downtown Baltimore closed early Monday. Among them included the University of Maryland-Baltimore and T. Rowe Price’s downtown offices, which closed at 2 p.m. “out of an abundance of caution.” UMB officials said the campus was closing early at the recommendation of Baltimore police. In an alert to students and staff, the university says “the safety of our students and employees is of paramount importance. Please vacate the campus as soon as possible.” School spokesman Alex Likowski said he didn’t know what type of activity might be passing through campus or what prompted the warning from police. At the recommendation of Baltimore police, Baltimore City Community College officials said the school closed at 3 p.m. Afternoon and evening classes at Coppin State University have been canceled. The University of Baltimore was closing at 5:30 p.m. After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, Monday night’s game between the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been postponed. Shortly before 6 p.m., the Enoch-Pratt library system announced all its branches were closing. Other businesses that closed early included Legg Mason and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Karen Campbell said hotels in the area of Oriole Park at Camden Yards have locked their revolving doors. Citing the threat of more unrest, school officials in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County have canceled all school system field trips and weekend activities scheduled to be held at venues in Baltimore City through Sunday. In Anne Arundel County, the cancellation affects about 40 planned trips by schools ranging from elementary to high school.