BALTIMORE, M.D. – The streets of Baltimore appeared calm and deserted Tuesday morning following a night of violence and destruction as protesters and police battled for control of the city. Remnants of Monday night’s chaos were evident throughout the city of Baltimore. The charred remains of emergency and private vehicles scattered the streets, many coated in broken glass and debris from nearby businesses that had been looted or destroyed the night before.
The latest reports indicate the city of Baltimore suffered immensely last night with over 150 fires, fifteen of which resulted in total devastation. 144 vehicles were destroyed and property damage is estimated to be in the millions of dollars. Additionally, Baltimore City police arrested over two hundred protesters and private citizens.
The morning’s surreal sense of tranquility ended abruptly at 8:53 a.m. as a column of armored Humvees and Mine Resistant Armored Personnel vehicles rumbled down Liberty Heights Avenue toward Mondawmin Mall, the site of a major confrontation between police and protesters yesterday. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency Monday night and deployed the National Guard to Baltimore, directing them to secure the city and protect it’s roughly 600,000 residents from the tyrannical Baltimore City police department. “I assured [the president] we weren’t going to stand by and allow our city of Baltimore to be taken over by thugs,” Governor Hogan told reporters.
As heavily armed National Guard ground units branched off into the city, helicopter gunships buzzed overhead. Residents flooded the streets, smiling and waving at the passing soldiers, many of whom were clad in body armor and carrying assault rifles. “We’re being greeted as liberators,” Sergeant Major Edwardo Quesada told this reporter. The Sergeant Major said elements of the National Guard were meeting with community leaders to discuss strategies for securing the city.
At approximately 10:32 a.m., this reporter was traveling south on Howard Street towards Camden Yards when several fighter jets roared overhead. Seconds later an earth-shattering explosion rocked the city and a dense cloud of dark smoke rose on the horizon, blotting out the city’s skyline. Moments before, Army National Guard units had called in an air strike targeting a BPD building in the southern precinct.
Effective immediately, the city of Baltimore has been placed under a week-long mandatory curfew, which begins tonight at 10 a.m. until 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. Meanwhile the National Guard, at the request of Governor Hogan, will work to eradicate repressive elements of the Baltimore Police Department from the city and restore order.