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Rioters flooded the streets of a Baltimore neighborhood Monday, throwing rocks and attacking police officers, leaving 15 officers injured and six in shock trauma, according to police officials.

One officer was knocked unconscious after being hit in the head by an object, and another officer’s left knee cap is said to be severely damaged.

Even teenagers leaving school “thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at officers,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts at a news conference late Monday evening.

After school, crowds of teens went to the Mondawmin Mall and threw sticks, rocks, bottles, bricks and other objects at the 250 to 300 police officers who guarded the shopping center.

“This is not protesting,” Batts said. “This is not exercising your First Amendment rights. This is criminal activity.”

In a scene police described as a “war zone,” rioters set buildings and police cars ablaze, smashed windows and looted businesses.

Batts said the police didn’t have the resources to handle the violence because it was so widespread.

“Ferguson is a much smaller city,” he said, referring to the Missouri city that saw riots last year after the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown. “Baltimore is about 80 square miles.”

Two officers were reportedly being treated in a hospital after being injured by “flying debris,” including rocks and bricks. The violence erupted on the same day as a funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died April 12 in police custody under circumstances that remain unclear. Police have acknowledged that mistakes were made during and after his arrest.

Baltimore Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency and activating the Maryland National Guard. Up to 5,000 troops will enter Baltimore in armored Humvees, and they will be carrying weapons.

“This is not martial law,” Maj. Gen. Linda Singh of the Maryland National Guard insisted. “Martial law means the military fully takes over. We are not at that point.”

Now Al Sharpton has announced he’s headed to Baltimore to help organize a two-day march for Gray.

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Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has ordered a city-wide curfew to go into effect for at least a week starting Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST. The mayor said citizens will be ordered off the streets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless it’s a “medical emergency or you are going to work.” Rawlings-Blake called the rioters “thugs” and said the city is “deploying every resource possible to gain control of this situation and to ensure peace moving forward.”

Earlier in the day Monday, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said she instructed police “to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” which included giving “space” to those who “wished to destroy.”

“It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said.

By Monday evening, she walked back those statements, saying, “I’m going to protect people’s right to protest. I never said, nor would I ever say, that we would give people space to destroy our city.”

Baltimore city schools will be closed Tuesday. Public schools in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties have canceled field trips to Baltimore.

Monday night’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.

The following is a map of Monday’s violence created by the Baltimore Sun, which reported that the riots began near Mondawmin Mall and spread downtown:

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President Obama has been briefed on the violence that’s plaguing the city just 40 minute from the White House. Newly sworn-in Attorney General Loretta Lynch “assured the president that she would continue to monitor events in Baltimore and that the Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there.”

In a statement, Lynch condemned the rioting as “senseless acts of violence.”

“I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore,” she said. “Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.”

CNN reported, “Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, has spoken in personal terms about police harassment. So far, he hasn’t spoken about the unrest in Baltimore, but White House officials say they’re considering releasing a statement to address the situation.”

Authorities declined to connect the violence with a cause, but it followed by days the death in police custody of Gray, a black man who died from spinal injuries, prompting an investigation of police officers.

And it came only hours after law enforcement authorities in Baltimore were warned that gang members from the Bloods, Crips and Black Guerrilla Family were coming for them.

“Law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers,” the Baltimore Police Department said in a statement.

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On Monday, crowds of rioters scurried up and down streets, throwing rocks, bricks and other debris at officers, who carefully retreated across streets, medians and parking lots.

Maryland National Guard arriving on the scene in Baltimore

Maryland National Guard arriving on the scene in Baltimore

Police Capt. Eric Kowachyk said officers were trying to restore calm and would use pepper spray and other tools as needed. Kowachyk said several officers had been injured, and he described the city as a war zone.

“They have broken bones, one of them is unresponsive. This is not OK,” he said. “Right now our focus is that the people who live in that community are safe, and that our officers are safe.”

Tear gas and “pepper balls” both were being deployed, he said.

“We’re sending extra resources and deploying extra officers,” he said.

Describing the rioters, the captain said: “What we do know is that they’re criminals. … They are lawless individuals.”

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One man, Brian Woodyard Jr., 32, a bouncer at the Old Clubhouse Beer and Wine store, stood outside the shop with a machete in hand as rioters tried to break in.

“It’s the only thing I have. I can’t pull out a shotgun,” he told the Washington Post. “I was able to clear about 50 people away. I came with my mask on my face, ready to do what I have to do to protect my livelihood.”

The Baltimore Police Department took to Twitter Monday evening to urge parents to locate their children and “bring them home,” noting, “Several juveniles are part of these aggressive groups.”

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Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said: “That is not freedom of expression. That is destruction of property.”

Television newscasts showed rioters jumping up and down on top of a police vehicle.

Read all about one of the big battles over race in America, in “If I Had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman” by Jack Cashill.

Photos posted to Twitter showed looting and destruction.

A large fire burned down the Southern Baptist Church-owned Mary Harvin Transformation Center, a community-based organization that supports youth and families. The building was located at Federal and Gay Streets in East Baltimore. Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted that one resident watching the fire said, “I feel sorry for my city.”

“We want justice,” said another. “How are we going to get any with the city burning down?”

Others simply cried as they watched their church’s building burn.

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The windows in a Verizon store were broken, and the shop was looted:

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The following is a CVS pharmacy on North Avenue that has been set on fire since this photo was taken:

Twitter user Ben Jacobs posted this photo of a Baltimore CVS store that had been looted on April 27

Twitter user Ben Jacobs posted this photo of a Baltimore CVS store that had been looted on April 27

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Twitter user Arthur Delaney posted photos of the CVS store on North Avenue burning:

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Smoke fills the streets in Baltimore as a CVS pharmacy burns

Smoke fills the streets in Baltimore as a CVS pharmacy burns

According to Baltimore Police, the rioters slashed a fire hose when firemen tried to extinguish the fire at the CVS store:

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Twitter user AJ+, a group describing itself as “news for the connected generation, sharing human struggles, and challenging the status quo,” posted the following photos on the social media site of police cars that were smashed, abandoned and set ablaze:

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Late Monday evening, more looting was reportedly taking place in East Baltimore close to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Two people who were not affiliated with the university were arrested on the school’s Homewood campus in North Baltimore. A university spokeswoman told the Washington Post she doesn’t know what they were doing or why they were arrested. The school is asking students to remain indoors until further notice.

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Early Monday, police said they received what one media outlet described as “credible information” of gangs such as the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips uniting to injure or kill members law-enforcement officers.

The department’s emailed message read: “The Baltimore Police Department/Criminal Intelligence Unit has received credible information that members of various gangs including the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods, and Crips have entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’ law enforcement officers. Further information will be sent through appropriate channels.”

Gray’s funeral was not explicitly mentioned in the announcement of the threat, but the threat was revealed minutes before the service was set to begin on Monday.

“In “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence To America and How the Media Ignore It,” author Colin Flaherty explains how the riots are simply part of a larger anti-white narrative.

A local television report said the Mondawmin Mall was shut down by the violence.

Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake said she instructed police “to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” which included giving “space” to those who “wished to destroy.”

“It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said.

Related stories:

Rioters injure 7 police in Baltimore

Baltimore described as city on the brink

Ayatollah cites Freddie Gray for propaganda

Baltimore police: Gangs plotting to ‘take out’ cops

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