|View of the Hilton sky bridge connecting the Con (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun)|
In an exponential increase of violence in Baltimore today, protesters launched attacks against police, with at least seven officers having received serious injuries and several police vehicles being destroyed. The National Guard has been called and a curfew is in place for the city.
The increased unrest comes only a few days after smaller incidents broke out among the protesters. Over the weekend, a few violent protesters took up arms against the Baltimore Police Department by smashing windows and throwing debris at riot police.
Outside of Camden Yards, the neighborhood of Baltimore where the convention center is located, the conditions are relatively peaceful. The only sounds are the faint sirens in the distance and sighs of sad baseball fans lamenting the postponement of the Oriels game.
Despite much of the unrest being located in the urban Northwest Baltimore, the game was postponed in anticipation of more violence. Over the weekend, protesters clashed with baseball fans and police as the march passed the stadium, but they were soon routed before much damage could be done.
|'This is the future you chose, BronyCon!' (Associated Press)|
The stadium, as many con goers will remember, is located just across the street from the side entrance of the convention center.
Today's violence follows only hours after the conclusion of Freddie Grays funeral, where over 2,000 people came to pay their respects, but it is unlikely they are directly connected to the violence.
Freddie Gray is the latest African American victim of alleged police brutality, and the subject of Baltimore's #Blacklivesmatter protests.
An Al-Jazeera correspondent reporting live from Camden Yards stated around noon today that "There are no more rally's planned until Tuesday. [Gray's Family] called for the protesters to spend the day in mourning."
After the funeral ended though, events took a turn for the worse and unrest soon unfolded outside on on the streets of uptown Baltimore.
Reports also show rampant looting around the area. At least one CVS Pharmacy, confirmed to be the location where this writer once purchased a pack of Marlboro Reds from, has been looted and burned to the ground by rioters.
"In addition to [security], we have something called Emergency Action Plans, or EAPs for short, that we take time to think about and create. These are potential scenarios that we make a procedure for," Josh said, expanding on the Conventions contingency plans. “'Uncivil protest' is going to be a scenario that we will be adding to that list."
|(Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)|
|"When you show up for the boycott and pickett march and it turns into a riot"|