baltimore protests

*UPDATE 5:20 PM: Seven police officers have been injured and one officer was knocked unconscious during the violent protests that started near Mondawmin Mall and rippled out across West Baltimore, according to  Capt. Eric Kowalczyk. Other officers have suffered broken bones.

Also, demonstrators set a police vehicle on fire at North and Pennsylvania avenues and have looted a nearby CVS store.

The unrest came the same day as the funeral in West Baltimore for Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

So far, the Maryland National Guard has not been asked to assist.

baltimore police protests

ORIGINAL STORY: Hundreds of juveniles protesting the death of Freddie Gray clashed with police in riot gear near Mondawmin Mall in Northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, while the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and numerous downtown businesses have closed early fearing violence.

Police covering social media were tipped about an online flyer announcing a high school “purge” set to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall (near the Baltimore Zoo) and ending downtown. Such memes have been known to circulate regularly among city school students, based on a film “The Purge,” about what would happen if all laws were suspended.

Police responded with shields and a tactical vehicle and were pelted with rocks and bottles. Several officers were injured in the melee, police said via Twitter. Police have formed a perimeter and are slowly pushing the crowd out of the mall area.

News helicopters have captured teens also throwing bricks at police, who have responded with what appears in news footage to be pepper spray or tear gas.

Also, police are saying that protesters are setting small items on fire.

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