Police arrest four protesters outside Johns Hopkins Hospital

Four protesters were arrested - one of whom was pepper-sprayed - near Johns Hopkins Hospital after police say they refused to follow officers' orders and shoved officers who attempted to disperse them.

Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman, said the protesters locked arms and refused to allow trucks to enter a construction site at the intersection of Rutland Avenue and Eager Street. Police said organizers told protesters over a megaphone to stand their ground as police ordered them to move to a "safe location."


Among those arrested was the organizer of the protest, 46-year-old Richie Armstrong, of Northwest Baltimore. Police said another man, 42-year-old Thomas Threatt, was pepper-sprayed by an officer because he resisted arrest.

The group behind the protest was Community Churches United, which has been criticizing what it sees as a lack of local hiring on the new construction related to theEast Baltimore Development Inc.project.


A previous protest in December drew 200 marchers; none were arrested.  EBDI CEO Christopher Shea addressed protesters at that event, promising to "work as hard as we can to place as many of you as we can."

'We are out here fighting for construction jobs," Armstrong said at the time. "We want to work. We are ready to work, and we have a lot of people qualified for these jobs."

According to reports, Armstrong was affiliated with a jobs protest in DC last fall, demanding jobs for local residents at a City Center project.

[This post has been updated]