BALTIMORE (WJZ) — WJZ continues to follow developments in a nearly ten-hour protest at City Hall. Several of the 16 arrested remain in jail. The commissioner is defending his department’s actions.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with why the disruptions may not be over.
The commissioner says reasonable accommodations were made to demonstrators and points out this all ended before anyone showed up for work Thursday at City Hall.
The mayor said the city had intelligence that this was likely to happen and that she wasn’t surprised by the protest.
Protestors stunned City Hall, disrupting an important hearing over whether to make Kevin Davis Baltimore’s permanent police commissioner.
Through the shouting, shocked council members voted and passed the measure anyway.
“You should be sick of yourself because you can’t look me in my eyes,” said one demonstrator.
Officers flooded City Hall and the tense situation dragged on for almost ten hours before police arrested these 16 people:
27-year old Gabriel James Dinsmoor, of Baltimore.
19-year old Tre Stephon Murphy of Baltimore.
22-year old Ralikh Hayes of Baltimore.
27-year old Adam Joshua Jackson of Baltimore.
38-year old Matthew Warren of Baltimore.
22-year old Daniel Nikita Lee of Baltimore.
26-year old Payam Sohrabi of Columbia Maryland.
20-year old Shaivaughn Fate Crawley of Baltimore.
27-year old Christopher Allen Comeau of Baltimore.
21-year old Hanifat Bimpe Bello of Baltimore.
18-year old Mocca Verdel of Baltimore.
23-year old Kayla joy Ingram of Baltimore.
38-year old Kerridwen Eliot Henry of Burtonsville Maryland.
*In addition, a 17-year old female from Baltimore is charged with trespassing, a 16-year old male from Baltimore is charged with trespassing, and a 17-year old male from Baltimore is charged with trespassing.
The commissioner rejected criticism he let the demonstration go on far too long.
“We were in control of that environment last night. There was no need for us to embark upon or create an artificial emergency,” said Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore Police Department.
Protestors claim under Davis police have been too harsh on them and are demanding a meeting.
“Given with the coming trials, there are certainly going to be protests that happen. And we want to make sure that people’s rights as protestors are being taken care of,” said Dayvon Love, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.
By midday, everything was calm again at City Hall, and a legal defense fund had already been set up for those arrested.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom,” one protestor said.
That fund quickly raised several thousand dollars. Despite the disruptions, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said this about the drama at City Hall:
“It was a smooth hearing and I’m pleased they were able to take a vote and to recommend confirmation of Commissioner Davis,” she said.
But in order to get “interim” removed from Davis’ title, he still faces one more hurdle—a vote by the entire City Council next week. Protestors may try to shut that down, too.
“That’s now in the rear-view mirror, and I’m looking out the front windshield toward Baltimore’s future,” said Davis.
The commissioner says he’s worked to be accessible to this group of protestors and even provided his personal cell phone number. One of them, though, tweeted it out and the commissioner had to get a new phone number.
The commissioner says he is open to a meeting with the protestors Friday.