By Paul Gessler

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New details are emerging in court documents surrounding how Baltimore City officials responded to the 2015 unrest following the death of Freddie Gray.

Baltimore City Police leadership said officers were deployed en masse to Mondawmin on April 27, 2015, in direct response to rumors on social of a “purge,” predicting lawlessness.

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Police seemed to identify a west Baltimore teen as the source of the rumor the day before, but it’s unclear what efforts they took to confirm the rumor’s

These details are in response to a lawsuit against the city brought by dozens of businesses.

The city wants the suit thrown out, arguing its handling of the 2015 unrest “should be considered a success” in comparison to protests in Ferguson and Minneapolis after the deaths of Michael Brown and George Floyd.

Baltimore City officials say their requests for aid from the state were “largely ignored” and an email from the state’s emergency management showed the governor had “no intent” that Saturday to authorize a state of emergency.

The governor’s office points out those emails make no direct request for assistance.

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In his deposition last month, the former police commissioner, Anthony Batt, said he and others “begged” for more resources for more than a week leading up to April 27.

A spokesperson for Gov. Hogan said the testimony under oath is an attempt at “revisionist history.”

In his book, Gov. Hogan said then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake was “paralyzed with fear and indecision,” recounting how he “saved” the city.

Batts said when he asked the mayor to declare a state of emergency, “she jumped on it.”

Of the police response, the former mayor said the introduction of “military equipment,” like that used in Ferguson, would have only escalated the situation.

Business owners and employees argue they were physically injured that day, as well as their businesses being damaged.

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WJZ reached out to the attorney representing those businesses suing the city for comment on the city’s argument. He did not respond.

Paul Gessler