Maryland’s National Guard hit the ground in Baltimore late Monday night as more fires and looting continued to grip the city in the wake of protests over Freddie Gray’s death. A reporter on the scene suggests that emergency lines were so busy, 911 operators were not picking up. “Just tried reporting a store break-in and looting at the 7-Eleven on Charles in Saratoga,” tweeted WBFF Fox45 reporter Paul Gessler. “No operators are picking up 911 calls.”
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told reporters the more than a dozen officers injured earlier in the day were going to be OK, but six were seriously hurt. Batts also said the city was “calming down, slowly but surely, other than the car fires and street fires.” Maryland State Police activated 500 officers and have requested up to 5,000 law-enforcement officials from neighboring areas including Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Police officials later told The Washington Post that rioters were targeting stores selectively, focusing on ones with desirable merchandise—like shoes. At least two big fires continued to burn, but Batts reported that Mondawmin Mall, where teenage protesters first clashed with cops, had been secured. Overnight, police were escorting emergency responders and fire officials after reports of criminals allegedly throwing cinder blocks at passing fire engines.