Wheeling around the corner of Liberty Heights Avenue onto Auchentoroly Terrace, a group of what looked like high school students, perhaps 50 of them, carrying tree branches, bricks and rocks, came running and skipping along the median.
I was there.
From the median and walking in the roadway between idled cars, they laughed and shouted at the drivers, some of whom rolled up their windows. My car wasn’t damaged, and I didn’t see any damage to the other cars.
Mostly, it seemed, the young people were looking to engage with Baltimore police. Some had their hoodies pulled over their faces. Others carried back packs.
At the Gwynns Falls Parkway intersection, at about 3:45 p.m. today, they found their quarry.
Police cars were parked, about a dozen of them, near the entrance to the zoo on Swann Drive. Police had blocked off the entrance, but they didn’t seem entirely ready.
When the rocks and bricks began flying – lobbed high in the air and in some cases striking police cars – the officers jumped back and huddled together.
The sound of rocks hitting car chassis could be heard everywhere. Rocks lay in the street, and cars swerved to avoid them as well as the students and police.
The group at Gwynns Falls Parkway seemed to be chucking the rocks up and over the cars in the roadway, aiming them at the police on the other side.
Two helicopters hovered above, and sirens blared as more police reinforcements rushed to the scene.
OTHER BREW REPORTING ON FREDDIE GRAY:
• City to pay $80,000 to victim of police beating 4/20/15
• Freddie Gray death: heartache for family, hash spotlight for Baltimore 4/21/15
• Demanding jail for officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest, marchers share their own police horror stories 4/22/15
• City prepares for worst, but protesters dial down the anger at City Hall march 4/23/15
• City workers sent home early today ahead of Freddie Gray demonstration 4/23/15
• Policing with impunity: How judges let dubious police tactics flourish (Op-ed by a public defender) 4/25/15
• Pent-up anger over police explodes on city streets after day of peaceful protests 4/26/15
• Most arrested at protest are city residents but mayor and police blame “outside agitators” 4/26/15
• Scores of youths hurling bricks and rocks at police on Auchentoroly Terrace 4/276/15