A week after Baltimore’s mostly peaceful protests turned into riots, tensions flared again after a shot rang out at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues. Officers pursued a man carrying a handgun, which the police department says discharged when the revolver was dropped.
The police department said no one was injured, though some witnesses claimed the man was shot. Within minutes of the discharge, police in riot gear were deployed to contain the scene. People milled around and rumors swirled, and a small group of protesters began to chant “Black community control the police.”
A police spokesman said the unnamed man was seen by CitiWatch closed-circuit cameras carrying the weapon. When officers pursued, the man ran, dropping the gun. Police officers say the the man was sent to the hospital in an ambulance after being thoroughly checked out by paramedics who found no injury.
Pastor Rodney Hudson tried, unsuccessfully, to calm a small group of angry protesters.
“We’re trying to bring peace and harmony,” Hudson, who leads Ames Memorial United Methodist Church a few blocks away, said. “If there’s a problem with the police, we’re going to solve it, but we’re going to solve it in a way that is appropriate with nonviolence.”
The tense moment comes after two weeks of protest -- most days nonviolent but marred by looting and property damage a week ago -- following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained a severe spinal injury after being arrested.
Matt Purdy contributed to this report.