Baltimore police shoots teenager, assault journalists on anniversary day of extra-judicial killing of Freddie Gray

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A 13-year-old boy carrying a replica handgun was shot and wounded on the anniversary of mass protests sparked by a black man’s death in police custody, police said.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters near the scene of Wednesday’s shooting that two officers spotted the teenager carrying what appeared to be a firearm, identified themselves and gave chase when he ran away.

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of protests and clashes with police in Baltimore following the death of an unarmed black man, Freddie Gray, in police custody.

“This is exactly what our community expects a police officer to do when they see someone with a firearm,” Davis said. “Why this young man chose to flee on foot when he was approached by two Baltimore police officers, I don’t know.”

Police subsequently took the boy’s mother in for questioning, although she was not arrested.

Davis said the teen’s injuries were not life threatening.

About 2,000 National Guard personnel flooded Baltimore one year ago, clashing with angry protesters.

While covering the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, two journalists
J.M. Giordano and Sait Serkan Gurbuz, Baltimore City Paper’s photo editor and a Reuters photographer, respectively, were allegedly mistreated by the city’s cops.

Giordano was knocked to the ground by police after someone in the crowd behind him threw a rock.

“They just swarmed over me,” Giordano told City Paper. “I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out.”

Serkan Gurbuz was arrested but was later released. He was cited for disorderly conduct.

Gray’s death was one of several high-profile cases in the US of a black man dying at the hands of police – a situation that has stirred resentment among black Americans who believe they are targeted by police.

That anger also sparked coast-to-coast demonstrations in major US cities after a white policeman shot dead an unarmed black teenager in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson in August 2014.

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