Violent rioting erupted on the streets of Baltimore on Monday, the day that a 25-year-old man who was killed while in police custody, Freddie Gray, was laid to rest. Cars were burned, more than a dozen police were injured and people raided stores across the city.
The Governor of Maryland declared a State Of Emergency, the Mayor of Baltimore imposed a curfew and the Maryland National Guard was sent to patrol the streets. But chaos and violence were not the only things happening on the streets of Baltimore.
Hundreds of Baltimore clergy linked arms and took to the streets in an effort to restore the peace. WBAL Reporter Deborah Weiner described the remarkable scene. “These are the church leaders who are putting themselves in harms way to end the violence… they are linked arm-in-arm… one gentleman is in front in a wheelchair.”
“I asked the clergy what they thought of the State of Emergency that the Governor declared,” Weiner said. “They said there has been a State of Emergency way before tonight in Baltimore City, an emergency in poverty, lack of jobs [and] disenfranchisement from the political process.”
In an editorial, The Baltimore Sun called on “the thousands who have already marched in peaceful solidarity with the Gray family’s cause, and the many thousands more who have silently supported them, to take back the movement, to drown out those few who choose chaos over order.”