Carroll schools, sheriff react to Baltimore riots

The Carroll County Public School system has canceled all scheduled field trips to Baltimore in the wake of riots that escalated Monday in the city.

The sheriff's office has also has sent personnel and police equipment to the city. Monday's rioting was the latest flare-up over the death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal encounter with city police on April 19 came amid the national debate over police use of force against African Americans.


Steve Guthrie, superintendent of Carroll County Public Schools, said he and his staff discussed the riots Sunday and decided to cancel all field trips through May 8, after which they will reassess the situation.

"We thought it might be prudent given what happened," Guthrie said.


He said he was unsure how many students and which schools would be affected. He spent time Monday trying to determine these figures, and said there were several trips planned.

The school system will work with students to issue refunds of money paid for field trips, but was unsure how many students would be reimbursed.

Two high schools — Liberty High and Century High — have scheduled their proms for May 9 at venues in Baltimore, and Guthrie said it is too far in advance to make a decision whether to cancel these events, Guthrie said.

"These students can't get refunds for hotels and other plans they've had for six months," he said. "Our intent is to let the proms go off as scheduled, but it really depends on the circumstances."

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, who was a Maryland State Police trooper for 25 years, said he sent an armored personnel carrier along with two deputies to act as spotters in the city late Monday night, and the contingent "will be down there as long as they need it until everything is calmed down."

DeWees also issued an order that prevents all on-duty deputies from conducting any business in Baltimore — whether it be an interview, a follow-up to an investigation, or even a prisoner transport — without his consent until some degree of safety is restored. to Baltimore.

Before he sent his deputies to the city, he made it clear to them the rules of engagement in this situation are no different "than any other day of the week," he said.

"When [deputies] are out and about outside of their jurisdiction, they operate under the same policies and procedures as inside Carroll," DeWees said. "Whether it's pursuing, use of force, or deadly force, it doesn't change."

The riot broke out mid-afternoon Monday, hours after thousands mourned Gray, the man who died after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody. Rioters looted stores and hurled rocks and bricks at Baltimore police, injuring several officers. Police reports state that at least 27 people were arrested and 15 officers were injured as of 9 p.m. Monday.

City officials have implemented a curfew beginning Tuesday from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. that will be in effect for one week and extend as necessary.

Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency shortly after 7 p.m. and activated the National Guard to deal with the increasing unrest and violence in Baltimore. The National Guard is mobilizing its assets and will be providing both equipment and manpower to quell the riots, Hogan said during a press conference Monday night.

Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, said during the conference that as many as 5,000 troops could be called into service, but the exact number will be up to the governor. Baltimore City has rallied 1,500 law enforcement officers from the city and other state jurisdictions to combat the riots, according to Baltimore City Police officials.


DeWees said the armored personnel carrier from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office will provide sufficient protection for his deputies, who were ordered not to engage rioters unless threatened. While the riots are occurring in just a small area, the escalating violence is now affecting all parts of Maryland, and even beyond the border, he said.

"Even though [Baltimore City] is 45 minutes east, we are all affected by it," DeWees said. "Not just because of our proximity, the whole country is affected."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.



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