Riots in Baltimore

Death by police


On May 1, following the death in police custody of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers with a series of crimes ranging from official misconduct to murder. Gray reportedly ran when officers made eye contact with him on April 12, and cops pursued him. He was then arrested for allegedly carrying an illegal knife and placed in a police van, where he suffered a spinal injury and went into a coma, dying one week later.

In her indictment, Mosby said the knife was legal to possess, but at least one officer's attorney insists that it wasn't. The indictments the grand jury returned don't include false imprisonment charges, reflecting uncertainty over the knife.

Demonstrations for Freddie Gray started a few days after his death. Things turned violent on April 25 and April 27, as riots broke out in different parts of the city. Citing safety concerns, officials closed a Baltimore Orioles day game against the Chicago White Sox to the public, leading to an eerie visual of two professional baseball teams playing to a completely empty stadium.

The police union, which had called demonstrators a "lynch mob" when protests were still peaceful, maintains that the officers, who under the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights can't be fired unless they are found guilty, are not responsible for Gray's death.