There might be a lot of people who sympathize with the rioters in Baltimore, Maryland, tonight, but one mother is not one of them. Footage is going viral on Facebook and Instagram of an African-American woman grabbing a young African-American male in a hoodie who is rioting in the street, and she grabs and smacks him hard several times as the incident is caught on video.
[Warning: the video contains profanity and may not be suitable for all readers.]
The death of African-American Freddie Gray in Baltimore while in police custody led to civil unrest over the last several days, culminating into a total riot situation that has left at least fifteen police officers injured, including one critically, while bricks were thrown at them by rioters. Freddie Gray was buried today, and peaceful protests gave way to unbelievable violence as a CVS was looted for hours then set on fire by scores of rioters. When the fire department arrived, rioters cut through their fire hose so that they had no water pressure to put out the fire.
However, not all Baltimore residents are in agreement with this violent behavior, as seen in the video in which a mother decides to take matters into her own hands with her son and screams obscenities at him as she attacks him, no doubt worried about his safety in the midst of the chaos.
From the footage, it is apparent that many of the rioters are teenage males. There seems to be not much organization to the rioting chaos, with violent acts and people burning cars, throwing objects, and screaming obscenities, although that may be about to change since the National Guard has been dispatched to Baltimore to assist the police department with crowd control. There is also a nine o'clock curfew instated for the city.
Many demonstrators remain peaceful, according to the mayor of Baltimore, who has called for the Reverend Al Sharpton to come assist with peace talks between the police and crowd. The mayor insists that many demonstrations remain legal and peaceful, and that the media is choosing to not show those images. While many people sympathize with the anger at recent acts of alleged police brutality, others are completely stymied as to why violent rioting and looting of stores can avenge 25-year-old Freddie Gray's death.
The Baltimore Orioles cancelled their game tonight in the wake of the violence, and police urged parents to find their children and contain them within their homes. The mother featured in the video that has gone viral and been shared thousands of times appears to have carefully heeded their request.
[Image Courtesy of WMAR]