Civil Liberties

State of Emergency in Baltimore, Governor Calls Out National Guard

"To address the growing violence and unrest in Baltimore City"


CNN Screen capture

In response to riots in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency at about 7pm Eastern Time.

The official announcement reads:

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today, at the request of Baltimore City, has signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard to address the growing violence and unrest in Baltimore City.

The governor, along with Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and National Guard Adjutant General Linda Singh, will hold a press conference at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency this evening at 8:30 PM.

The full executive order declaring the state of emergency is here (PDF).

As Jesse Walker noted earlier, initial protests over the treatment and death of Gray, including both peaceful demonstrations as well as scattered violence and vandalism, were largely a local affair. Today, the Baltimore Police Department claimed evidence of a "credible threat" that street gangs had joined together to "take-out" law enforcement officers—marking either an escalation of the violence in the streets, or just of the police department's public relations effort. Either way, today's violence overshadows the Saturday protests, and now the National Guard has been called in to, hopefully, calm a conflict that started with allegations of lethal police abuse.

More Reason coverage of the situation in Baltimore here.