Baltimore Riots: Blue Lives Matter Hashtag Goes Viral In Response To Baltimore Purge Looting And Violence

The Baltimore riots sparked a resurgence of the Blue Lives Matter hashtag – #bluelivesmatter. The hashtag initially surfaced on social media during the Ferguson riots in response to the Black Lives Matter hashtag. Overnight, Americans from across the country tuned into their favorite 24/7 cable news station to watch the violence and carnage occurring in west Baltimore after the Freddie Gray funeral.

The Baltimore police were alerted to an alliance between three rival gangs, the Bloods, the Crips, and the Black Guerilla Family in the early afternoon hours yesterday. The gangs allegedly agreed to a partnership that would involve them putting aside the turf wars and violence they wage against one another and turn all their power and angst towards the police. The Baltimore Police Department was placed on high alert over the warning just as another threat emerged against them on social media – this time the promise of chaos stemmed from local teenagers.

The so-called Baltimore Purge referenced a popular movie where citizens could conduct any crime they wished for a single night. Exactly why and how rioting and looting in their own neighborhoods would further the investigation into the Freddie Gray investigation and bring about the justice the community has been calling for, remains unseen. The Freddie Gray family’s pleas for peaceful protests eroded after the 25-year-old was buried.

A total of 15 Baltimore police officers were injured during the riots. Some local faith leaders, residents, and community leaders attempted to thwart the destruction and violence throughout the evening. The Baltimore mayor has been the lambasted with complaints in the hours since the Baltimore riots began for allegedly giving the police officers a “stand down” order as part of the city burned and businesses were destroyed.

Some rioters sliced holes in fire hoses as businesses and a nearly completed nursing home burned. Baltimore firefighters risked their lives before even battling the blaze by merely venturing into what appeared like a war zone in the western district neighborhood. The local fire chief told CNN that one firefighters was “seriously hurt” while attempting to knock down one of the blazes. While the fire chief did note that the injury was not due to smoke inhalation, he did not elaborate further on the firefighter’s condition.

Participants and spectators of the Baltimore riots who spoke with reporters from CNN and Fox News often said the Baltimore Purge, looting, and fires were occurring because the teens and residents felt “oppressed” and mentioned alleged police brutality and racism. Some reporters asked for more details about the racism allegations, pointing out that the mayor and the majority of city council members were also black. Rioters and spectators stated that the western district needed more black police officers as well. One unidentified man said that “during the times” he was arrested, some of the Baltimore cops “were good and arrested him the right way” while others were “bad” and used excessive force when arresting him.

One Baltimore city council member and multiple residents at the scene stated that bottled up generational anger over poverty, lack of jobs, and underfunded schools caused the eruption of violence and looting in the western district neighborhood. When asked how burning down the stores which did choose to locate in the neighborhood would help foster job growth, the question went unanswered.

#BlueLivesMatter God be with the Baltimore police keep them safe.

— Brian Collins (@YBlackGOP) April 27, 2015

Some Baltimore residents showed up on the streets early this morning armed with not cinder blocks and bottles filled with flammable liquid, but with brooms and trash bags as they volunteered to help clean up the massive mess. Many of these same residents are nearly begging that the “thuggin'” called for on social media come to an abrupt end because they need paychecks earned from working at the businesses still standing in the western district. The Baltimore Police Department budget could likely be in shambles after the taxpayer-funded agency will be forced to purchase new cruisers and vans destroyed during the riots and pay for all the over-time accrued during the attempts to regain control of the city.

What do you think about the Baltimore riots, the Baltimore Purge, and the ongoing threats against the safety of police officers?

[Image via: Getty Images]