At the start of the skirmishes between Baltimore police and citizens protesting over the police custody death of Freddie Gray, the police department issued claims that the Blood and Crip gangs were united to “take out” cops. Members of the city’s street gangs denied any such plans to harm officers, stating on record that those claims were false.
The Baltimore Police’s “credible threat” statement came just as scenes of violent clashes were being flashed across every major news outlet available on Monday (April 27). While there were visuals of aggression against cops by various groups of protestors, it did not appear to be a coordinated attack by the gang members. In fact, representatives from the gangs spoke with local NBC affiliate WBAL-TV about their suspected level of involvement.
“We want to tell the people of the city right now, of Baltimore City, that the image that they’re trying to portray of the gangs in Baltimore — The BGF, The Bloods, The Crips — we did not make that truce to harm cops,” said a Blood gang leader.
He added, “We did not come together against the cops. We’re not about to allow you all to paint this picture of us. We got soldiers out here right now that are dirty, we dirty. They threw bombs at us to try and stop what’s going on right now. Y’all are not about to do that to us.”
Another gang member said that they were part of several individuals trying to prevent looters from stealing and harming property yet said they were still hit with gas bombs by the riot squad.
The show of unity was reportedly established with help from the Nation Of Islam, calling a truce between the warring gang factions and providing an unprecedented narrative as to what is occurring in Baltimore since the start of the protests.
Watch the WBAL-TV interview with the Baltimore Blood, Crip, and Black Guerilla Family gang leaders below.