The heart of a city: 45 photos that capture the best and worst of what went down in Baltimore this week


Some of our readers may think this isn't Orlando's battle. What happened to Freddie Gray happened more than 900 miles away, so you may be inclined to believe that it's not our problem. If you're one of those people, we'd like to urge you to reconsider. Tension between communities – particularly minority communities – and police agencies is not unique to Baltimore. Nor is it unique to Ferguson or Cleveland or Sanford or any of the other cities where protesters have gathered by the thousands over the past several years to demand reform of our unbalanced criminal justice systems. If there's anything we can take away from the situation in Baltimore, it's that we shouldn't wait until tragedy strikes us at home before we talk about reforming what is, at its core, a broken relationship between police and the communities they serve.

This week, the staff at Baltimore City Paper (which used to be part of the same chain of newspapers that owned Orlando Weekly, until late 2013 when we were sold to another company; City Paper was later purchased by the Baltimore Sun) was on the street documenting what went down in Baltimore. They were there for the peaceful protests, the clashes between protesters and police, the looting and chaos that swept the city on Monday when groups of teenagers went on rampages in the streets, the uneasy quiet as Baltimore Police and the National Guard enforced a citywide curfew, then the morning after when members of the community came together with brooms and bags to begin the painful task of assessing the damage and cleaning things up.

These photos are just a sampling of some of the breathtaking (and at times horrifying) images captured by City Paper photographers this week. You can find them all, as well as more context about what's been happening across the city, at City Paper's website. – Erin Sullivan

Related: Visit City Paper's page devoted to coverage of the Freddie Gray incident, the protests and the aftermath of this week's unrest. 

| Photos by All photos by J.M. Giordano, except for photos numbered 40-45, which are by Hennpict

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