As protests over Freddie Gray's death escalated, Baltimore police began ordering riot gear.
Police bought 690 suits of Damascus Gear hard-shell body armor for $275,052, plus hundreds of shoulder, shin, thigh and forearm guards. The city also bought 1,399 equipment duffel bags for $82,788. The total bill came to $650,719.
The cost for next-day delivery: $84,480.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith said that batch of equipment arrived on April 27, 2015 — the day the city erupted in riots, looting and arson.
But police were still ill-equipped that day. And even after the riots were quelled, the atmosphere in the city remained tense as the trials approached for...