BALTIMORE — The middle-aged woman buried deep in a crowd of protesters near the intersection of North Fulton and West North Avenues held up a yellow sign with black lettering. One side issued a demand: “Stop the lethal force.” The other provided what could be seen as an ominous warning: “Pow pow you reap what you sow.”
All around, not far from the Gilmor Homes, the public housing development where Freddie Gray was arrested before suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody, the battle between chaos and calm raged.
Young men, some in surgical masks, pulled cases of water from a looted convenience store while peaceful protesters from 300 Men March, a local anti-violence group, tried to persuade women and children to go back inside after ambulances slowly moved through streets marked by burned or abandoned cars.
“This is what you have from years and years of police brutality and abuse in this city,” said Deontrae Lucas, standing near a car burning outside her house. “It’s just now boiling over.”