Courtesy of Mother Jones:
After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews withMother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation.
Apparently, the police got wind of a plan by high schoolers to meet at Mondawmin Mall at 3:00 p.m. and proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue toward downtown Baltimore. They also released information that gangs were planning to “take-out” officers. Where they got this information is anyone’s guess.
When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.
In fact, the police stopped some of the buses and forced the kids to get off. And then one wonders when the kids couldn’t get home how a riot could possibly start!