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Maryland Governor Sends State Troopers As Protests Grow In Baltimore

Maryland's governor has ordered state troopers to Baltimore as protests over the death of Freddie Gray have grown.

"There's raw emotions. People legitimately have concerns, and the community is out in force protesting," Gov. Larry Hogan said, according to the Capital Gazette. "I want to thank the folks involved in that. So far it has been peaceful. We want to try to keep things under control. The last thing we need is more violence in Baltimore City."

Baltimore has been the scene of protests since Saturday, with demonstrators demanding justice for Gray, a black man who suffered a deadly injury to his spine after being arrested by police.

USA Today reports:

"A target of protests has been six officers suspended with pay for their involvement in Gray's arrest. The protests have been mostly peaceful, but began to heat up after police union president Gene Ryan expressed concern that the crowds might turn into a 'lynch mob.'

"'They are calling for the immediate imprisonment of these officers without them ever receiving the due process that is the constitutional right of every citizen, including law enforcement officers,' Ryan said in the statement.

"The Baptist Minister's Conference countered with a statement saying protesters 'are not a lynch mob. We are citizens concerned about our community.' "

According to The Baltimore Sun, protesters on Thursday chanted, "No justice, no peace."

The Sun spoke to civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who asked protesters to keep demonstrations peaceful.

By late afternoon, the protests were peaceful, though television images showed one scuffle between police and a group of protesters.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.