BALTIMORE (WJZ) –Protests turned violent in Baltimore Saturday as some stores were looted, cars damaged and police in riot gear tried to break up the more violent groups of demonstrators.
The protest began Saturday afternoon when several hundred demonstrators marched through the streets of West Baltimore. The crowd initially gathered at Presbury and N. Mount streets — the site of 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s arrest.
Then hundreds of protestors marched toward City Hall, making stops at Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor.
Although the protests were peaceful for much of the morning, they took a violent turn around 6 p.m. Baltimore City police donned riot gear and tried to move people out of the downtown area, concerned for the safety of residents and thousands of Orioles fans who were watching the team play the Red Sox at Camden Yards.
Several businesses at the Inner Harbor shut down early and University of Maryland Baltimore was also put on lockdown.
Some protestors looted Forever Wireless and 7-Eleven stores near Lexington Market as well as a poultry market.
Protesters could be seen throwing rocks, water bottles and even a burning trashcan at officers.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake addressed the violent protestors late Saturday alongside Fredricka Gray, Freddie Gray’s twin sister. Rawlings-Blake was “disappointed” by these protestors behavior.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said although the protests this morning were peaceful, a group left the main demonstration and moved to the Inner Harbor where they became “agitated.” The same group was later responsible for the looting near Camden Yards, Batts said.
By the time the game ended, police were still in a standoff with protestors downtown, so the Orioles initially asked fans to stay in the Camden Yards after the game, but then finally opened the gates allowing fans to leave.
The crowd downtown finally dissipated just before 11 p.m. and police moved their efforts toward the Western District.