BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The protests started off peaceful and escalated into chaos.
Tracey Leong explains the efforts to restore the city’s equilibrium.
The streets of Baltimore are much calmer now, just a day after those violent protests. The city is pulling together to clean up the aftermath after a peaceful protest over Freddie Gray’s death took an ugly turn.
“The people up front are the ones doing the most damage is what we’ve been seeing,” said Captain Jeff Long Saturday.
People were caught on cell phone video vandalizing the 7-Eleven on Howard and Baltimore streets.
“Destroying the city is not going to do anything. It’s not going to help anything; it’s going to make everything worse,” said Toya Baker.
Now businesses are working to clean up that mess, piecing their city back together.
“One thing I know about when you are in business, when you are closed, time counts,” said Dominique Johnson, who works in Baltimore. “I’m self-employed. I’m a hair stylist.”
Even other local business owners are pitching in to fix the destruction.
“We have to stand up for those who are upset. When people are grieving, they say things they don’t mean,” Johnson said. “You have to stand in the gap for them and clean up their mess.”
The damage spread across the city. Protesters ran wild through the streets, smashing in windows.
“I thought it was crazy. I never saw anything like it,” said Caprea Jackson.
It shocked those who call Baltimore home, as well as people visiting.
“Why the looting? Why the violence? Why you causing more problems?” said Gerald Potvin, who’s visiting Baltimore.
Some of the businesses that were looted in downtown Baltimore have reopened. Others are working to get them up and running.