The mayor’s office said today there were 144 vehicle fires, 15 structure fires and nearly 200 arrests as a result of the unrest that broke out in Baltimore on Monday.
The disturbances have ended, and the area worst hit – along the North Avenue corridor between Pennsylvania Avenue and Pulaski Street – has been secured by Baltimore police, Maryland State Police and other law enforcement said.
City Hall spokesman Howard Libit gave the updated numbers on the damage this morning, while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tweeted, “We will not let these deplorable and cowardly acts of violence ruin our city.”
The mayor also tweeted thanks to “all those out there cleaning up streets and sharing their love for our city.”
7 Stores Ransacked near North and Fulton
A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Larry Hogan late yesterday, acting on a request by Rawlings-Blake. He and members of his cabinet are directing law enforcement activities in the city.
In the vicinity of North and Fulton, seven stores – five of them liquor stores or taverns – were “totally looted and damaged” yesterday, according to neighborhood activist, Dr. Marvin C. “Doc” Cheatham.
There have been no deaths or life-threatening injuries reported so far [2 p.m. update: there is one life-threatening case of a person pulled from a burning building last night, police say].
About 30 police officers sustained injuries, two serious, from “flying debris” thrown by marauding bands of young people who clustered at Mondawmin Mall and then marched south down Pennsylvania Avenue to North Avenue.
Many stores at Mondawmin Mall were looted after police left the area to chase after the teenagers.
A Charred Ruin
In East Baltimore, a three-alarm arson fire claimed a $16 million senior center under construction on Federal Street between Chester Street and Bauernschmidt Court.
The Mary Harvin Center was slated to house about 60 low-income seniors, said Rev. Donte L. Hickman Sr. of the Southern Baptist Church, the center’s sponsor.
“We started on the project eight years ago. We broke ground this year,” he told Brew reporter Danielle Sweeney this morning.
Four concrete towers had been erected on the site, “and we saw two fall to the ground last night,” Hickman said. The church’s school bus was also destroyed by the intense flames from embers from the fire.
Asked if the blaze was lit by rioters, he replied, “That’s our only conclusion.”
The rioting erupted yesterday in West Baltimore hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray at the New Shiloh Baptist Church on North Monroe Street.
The 25-year-old’s death on April 19 of still-unexplained spinal injuries, after being taken into police custody, had ignited days of protests in front of the Western Police District station.
After a demonstration in front of City Hall last Saturday, clashes with police and property damage erupted in nearby Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore.