From eyewitness Dan McGregor
“I want everyone to know what’s happening in Baltimore.
I rolled up to Penn and North at 10:30 AM. There was a massive clean-up effort organized to start at 10 AM. When I got there, everything in the public realm was already cleaned up, and people were cleaning up the legendary trash piles that are strewn randomly about the city (if you live in a poorer city or a poorer neighborhood, you know what I’m talking about, the piles of trash that are just around town). The end result was a west side that was going to be cleaner than it was to begin with.
There were 100’s of people out, all races, all ages, all demeanors. Totally peaceful, quiet. It was amazing. Everybody was working hand-in-hand to clean up the city, spread out along North Ave and its immediate side streets. People were talking about what was happening and why. People were expressing themselves. This is ideal.
At around 11:30 AM, there was a large-scale police mobilization at Penn and North. No idea why. A bus, an armored vehicle, several vans, several cars. A medium-sized police force, in full riot gear, with automatic weapons, some National Guard troops. The vehicles were all Anne Arundell County and I’m guessing the cops were too.
The cops showed up and shut down a couple of blocks. They cut people off from their residencies and places of work. They stopped people from cleaning. They formed a line and inched forward, telling people to get off the street, that this is a State of Emergency so this street has to be shut down.
Why? Why were the cops there? Why were they shutting down the street? Why did they stop a community effort to clean up? Why did they disrupt the daily business of residents and employees? Why did they arrive in full riot gear to deal with 100’s of people armed only with shovels, brooms, trashbags, and gloves?
This is agitating. This is belligerent. This is picking a fight. If the cops hadn’t come, nothing would have happened beyond people cleaning and going about another day of their lives. Now that the cops are there, trying to intimidate and agitate, there’s a risk of things exploding again.
You know what I saw? I saw police yelling at people, intimidating people, making moves without provocation. And I saw gang members calmly, reasonably asking people to move, asking people to play along, asking people to stay calm and not to provoke the police.
The media won’t tell you that. The police state is REAL. This shit HAPPENS. The police are NOT here to protect ANYBODY right now. They are BRINGING THE DANGER WITH THEM. They are BRINGING THE VIOLENCE WITH THEM.
THAT IS REAL, DON’T LET THE NEWS TELL YOU OTHERWISE, THAT IS REAL.”