Freddie Gray Protests Unite Baltimore Gang Members
BALTIMORE—Standing atop a West Baltimore rooftop Tuesday, Crips gang member "Benzo" Woodard stared down at a group of armor-clad riot police, picked up an empty Snapple bottle, and hurled it toward the cops.
"Y'all feel threatened?" Benzo shouted, the bottle landing near a police squad car and shattering against the pavement. "That's how we feel every damned day."
Benzo, 22, was among a group of roving gang members who'd attacked police, damaged businesses, and set vehicles ablaze during Baltimore's riots Monday and scattered unrest Tuesday—acts he said were retribution for years of unprovoked police violence, harassment, and the deaths of young African-American men like Freddie Gray, 25, who died of spinal chord injuries while in police custody April 19.