BALTIMORE – Latest developments:
• Citywide curfew now in effect in Baltimore from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Hundreds of protesters refuse to leave and go home.
• Some 2,000 National Guardsmen and more than 1,000 police officers from Maryland and neighboring states will be in the streets of Baltimore on Tuesday night, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said. “This combined force will not tolerate violence or looting, which has led to the destruction of property and put innocent Marylanders at risk.”
• “A minimum of 20 officers have been injured during the course of the lawlessness that took place,” Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said. He added that some officers suffered minor injuries but did not seek medical treatment because “they wanted to stay with other law enforcement officers and continue to help protect the city.”
A citywide curfew went into effect Tuesday night in Baltimore, where brooms have replaced bricks after a night of riots.
Laquicha Harper, a 30-year-old resident, called the violence embarrassing and heartbreaking, saying: “We owe it to ourselves to do better.”
She was among those who responded to clean up the mess from Monday’s violence.
Cars and building were burned. Police were hospitalized, businesses were looted, and hundreds of people were arrested.
“I understand that everybody is upset, I understand that tension is brewing … I’m here, I get it,” Harper said. “But there are better ways that we can handle our frustration. And they can’t hear us when we’re behaving this way.”
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that “some police aren’t doing the right thing” and that a lot of the tension between law enforcement and the black community stems from “a slow-rolling crisis” that has been brewing for decades.
Fixing it will require more investment in cities, criminal justice reform, better funding for education and soul-searching for some police departments, he said.
“If we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant. And that we don’t just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns,” the President said.
Still, no angst can excuse what Obama called the behavior of “criminals and thugs who tore up” Baltimore.
“When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement. They’re stealing,” he said. “When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson. And they’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities. That robs jobs and opportunity from people in that area.”
No repeat of Monday night, governor says
By Tuesday afternoon, protesters had gathered near the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues.
Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk described them as peaceful, which he said is “what we’re used to seeing in Baltimore.” That said, about a dozen people had been arrested Tuesday, according to the police captain.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said at noon that he didn’t know of additional instances of looting, damage or violence. But he was mindful that may not be true for long, and said he’s especially concerned about Tuesday night.
If there is another flare-up, Hogan said, authorities will be prepared with “as much manpower and as many resources as we can (have).”
“They are not going to be in danger, and … their property will be protected,” he said of Baltimore residents and business owners. “We’re not going to have another repeat of what happened last night. It’s not going to happen tonight.”
Hogan declared a state of emergency Monday evening — after a request from Baltimore’s mayor around 6 p.m. — that, among other things, expedited the deployment of hundreds of National Guard members. Up to 5,000 of them are ready to answer the call to join Baltimore police and up to 5,000 law enforcement officers were requested from around the Mid-Atlantic region, said Col. William Pallozzi of the Maryland State Police.
Rawlings-Blake has imposed a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., which is one reason why the Baltimore Orioles postponed their Tuesday night game and the Baltimore Ravens called off an NFL draft party set for Thursday night.
Wednesday’s game between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox will be closed to the public, the Orioles announced. A source within Major League Baseball told CNN the league is not aware of any prior closed-door games in major league history.
There was no public school Tuesday, nor were there classes at Johns Hopkins University.