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    A demonstrator puts on a Baltimore City Police hat taken from a destroyed police car while protesting the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015

    Baltimore Police Lacked Protective Gear, Training to Deal With Riots

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    Baltimore police lacked sufficient protective gear and training in how to handle civil unrest situations ahead of the city riots from April 18 to May 3, 2015, according to an After Action Review released by the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The riots in Baltimore erupted following the funeral service of African American Freddie Gray who died of spinal cord injuries sustained while in police custody. Rioters injured 20 officers, destroyed 144 cars, 15 buildings and also looted local stores.

    “Very few [officers] reported having any other riot/civil disturbance equipment during the first days of the riots,” the review read. “Some of the officers even purchased their own equipment, feeling they were not adequately protected by the equipment provided by the [Police] Department.”

    The review stated an “overwhelming majority” of surveyed officers had said they were not given proper civil disturbance equipment and were not trained in how to use such gear and respond to civil unrest.

    Recommendations from the Baltimore police union included supplying officers with protective gear such as googles, shields, batons, gas masks and gloves “before any rioting occurred.”

    The review also advised of the need to provide “adequate instruction” on how to use the gear and train officers to respond to riots and situations of civil unrest.

    On May 21, 2015, a grand jury indicted six Baltimore police officers involved in the illegal arrest of Freddie Gray. The six are now facing charges on accounts of assault, manslaughter, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.

    Related:

    Autopsy Report: Freddie Gray Death Caused by ‘High Energy Injury’
    Baltimore Six File for Change of Venue in Freddie Gray Murder Case
    Grand Jury Indicts Baltimore Cops Responsible for Death of Freddie Gray
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    African-American, riot, Police, Freddie Gray, United States
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