WASHINGTON – Police in Baltimore, in the United States, said that violent protests which led to several officers being injured and considerable material damage were instigated by local teenagers.
“We have young adults here who are 15, 16, and 17 years old, they know right from wrong,” said Baltimore police chief Anthony Batts in a press conference late Monday.
“I wish I had more parents that took charge of the kids out there tonight,” he lamented.
He confirmed that 15 officers had been injured, six of them seriously, but added that all are expected to recover.
Twenty-seven arrests were made during the protests, many for material damage, including the burning of vehicles and a shop, and for looting.
Meanwhile, the family of Freddie Gray, the young black man whose death in police custody sparked the violent protests, called for calm and criticized the violence in the city.
“I want you to get justice for my son, but don’t do it like this,” said Gray’s mother Gloria Darden outside a service at a local church.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared Monday a state of emergency in Baltimore and mobilized the National Guards, a reserve military force, to tackle the violence in the city.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared a curfew in the mayoralty from 10:00 p.m. onwards for the entire week, starting Tuesday.