BALTIMORE: 1 year after the Freddie Gray riots
BALTIMORE - One year ago the world's eyes were on Baltimore for all of the wrong reasons.
What started as peaceful protests following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray turned violent - with stores looted, rocks thrown at police, and buildings and cars set on fire.
A year later, parts of Baltimore are still struggling to recover from the demons that brought people into the streets with anger.
FOX 5’s Bob Barnard re-visited several areas of Baltimore to see how the recovery - one year later – has gone.
1 YEAR LATER
Bob’s first stop was to West Baltimore - an area of West Pratt Street known as "The Boulevard." He was there one year ago when the situation went from bad to worse.
Last April 27 and 28, the rioting had just begun and business owners, like the ones along "The Boulevard," were struggling to save what they had spent their lives building.
A pawn shop, a carry-out and a wig store were badly damaged or destroyed in that first night of rioting. A year later – we found none of the businesses were able to survive. The carry-out is under new ownership, and the pawn shop and wig store remain shuttered.
"Basically it was a cry for help. The riot was just a cry for help," said Baltimore resident Hassan Smith.
"The government, the city government, they just talk, you know," said Julio Velez who has lived in Baltimore since coming from Cuba 47 years ago. "They talk good…but they’re nothing but talk."
In his opinion, the city is only getting worse. "It’s a cycle," he said about the current state of Baltimore. "The city government is not going to do anything about it. They talk good – but that’s all they do – just talk."