Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Just a little before 8:00 p.m. eastern Monday, the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, addressed reporters about the violence that had taken hold of her city.
"What we see tonight that is going on in our city is very disturbing. It's very clear there is a difference between what we saw over the past week with the peaceful protests," she said, "and the thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city."
Mayor Rawlings-Blake, looking shellshocked from the day's events, noted she was a life-long resident of Baltimore and added, "Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs, who in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for."
The Mayor imposed a citywide curfew for everyone 14 years and older from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., effective for one week. Those under 13 years of age are already under a curfew on school nights from 9:00 p.m. on.
At the press conference, the Baltimore Police Department's Chief of Patrol, Col. Darryl DeSousa, said 15 police officers had been injured during the rioting and two were hospitalized. He also said about 27 arrests had been made as of around 7:30 p.m.
City Councilman Brandon Scott made an impassioned plea for people not to stand idly by and watch "cowards ruin our city."
"This is the city that I chose to dedicate my life to," Scott said. "I am calling on every able man and woman who wants to stand up to get out there and get in between these folks... and stand tall and stand up for your neighborhood."
Referring to the riots that burned through Baltimore following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he added, "We cannot let this be a repeat of 1968."
Though Rawlings-Blake said they were "deploying every resource possible" to gain control of the situation, including the National Guard, she seemed at a loss for how to quell the outbreak of riots.
"Anyone who wants to add to the calls for peace in our city is welcome. If Rev. Sharpton wants to come, if parents want to encourage their children to act within the law... anybody that wants to be a part of sending that message, I welcome it."
Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered the eulogy for Freddie Gray, said later on MSNBC that faith leaders had just "dispatched a large army of pastors" to walk the streets Monday tonight, "calling for calm" and asking kids to return home.
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