State of Emergency

On April 27, 2015, the governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency in Baltimore. Riots had broken out following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. In the midst of the tumult, a young photographer documented everyday life in a city under siege.

In the early-morning hours on Tuesday, April 28, a fire breaks out on Baker Street, close to Gilmor Homes where Freddie Gray grew up.

After an evening of riots, members of the community gather at the Cloverdale basketball courts. Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton spreads the word on Twitter and Instagram. Around 6 p.m., a group sets out on a peace march toward Penn-North metro station, where much of the violence occurred.

Toward the end of the march, the police move in.

An officer wearing an Orioles baseball cap holds a machine gun. A citywide curfew begins at 10 p.m., prompting conflict in the area between protesters and the police.

The next morning, April 29, a man offers encouragement at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and West North Avenue.

The same day, a Wednesday, a girl blows bubbles as a church group provides lunch and games for the community.

At 10:18 that evening, the second night of curfew, Congressman Elijah Cummings takes questions from the press.

At 5:09 p.m. on Thursday, on the corner of West North Avenue and Maryland Avenue, community members march carrying signs with slogans such as “We Are Not Thugs and Neither Are Our Children,” “Justice for Freddie Gray,” “Justice for Black Men Everywhere.”

Six minutes before curfew begins, Cummings leads a group of protesters away from the corner of Penn and North.

A half hour later, an officer points a weapon toward protesters who resist the curfew.

At 10:10 p.m., on the fifth night of curfew, the police cordon off the press.

A woman and child cross West Lanvale Street in front of a crime scene. Below, a community member cleans up.

On May 1, Freddie Gray’s arresting officers were charged with crimes including murder and manslaughter.

Here, the Rev. Pamela Coleman rejoices with community members on the corner of Penn and North.

Nearby, a man is overcome with emotion upon hearing the news.

Members of the rival Bloods and Crips gangs raise their hands in solidarity. Later that evening, a few minutes before curfew, gang members link arms.

A man waves an upside-down flag. At 10:03 p.m., a crowd resists curfew.

Residents of East Baltimore watch a march on their street.

Selected photos from this story originally appeared on and are used here by permission.

Edwin Torres is a reporting and photography fellow at ProPublica. He is a Knight-CUNY Journalism scholar and a freelancer for The New York Times.

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