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‘Baltimore Is Burning': Media Reacts to Violent Riots in Reaction to Freddie Gray’s Death

TV news, social and print all cover the chaos that’s engulfed Baltimore in last 24 hours

“Baltimore is Burning” was uttered on various cable networks Monday and Tuesday as protest in Baltimore over the mysterious death of 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray turned into violent riots that set many buildings and businesses on fire in the Maryland city.

Governor Larry Hogan has signed A State of Emergency and called in the national guard. A curfew has also been set from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. ET Tuesday into Wednesday.

“This is one of our darkest days as a city, and I know we’re much better than this,” the Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said to the press Monday night.

A consistent topic of debate on cable news Monday was whether the mayor made a mistake in not deploying more police earlier — particularly over the weekend — when the situation started to fester in the streets.

CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were both live in Baltimore Monday. Fox News had Doug McKelway, Leland Vittert, Rick Leventhal and Peter Doocy on the ground.

Social media has been active on the issue, with #BaltimoreRiots continuing to trend on both Twitter and Facebook and fierce debate ensuing between African Americans who speak out against continued police violence against minorities and people who argue the rioters have gone too far.

Freddie Gray was taken into police custody on April 12th. Over the next 45 minutes, he suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody. The cause of his death is still unknown.

On Tuesday, The Baltimore Sun showed a rioter in front of police.

Baltimore Sun

USA Today went with a simple, but bold headline.

USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal highlighted a Maryland police truck in flames.


The coverage of the riots continues across the networks Tuesday. It remains to be seen if rioters will obey Tuesday night’s curfew that has been put in place.