Baltimore city police said Monday that a partnership of gangs working to "take out" officers posed a "credible threat" to law enforcement. Three different gangs have reportedly entered into an agreement to join together in an attempt to harm police. The Baltimore Police Department released a statement saying in part that it had information the Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips had an accord to target law enforcement officers. "Law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers," police said in the statement.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a Baltimore police spokesman, would not go into further detail about the information, why it was credible, or if the threat was related to the protests concerning the death of Freddie Gray, which turned violent Saturday night. Demonstrators smashed the windows of police cruisers and confronted officers in the city streets.
Gray, a 25-year-old African-American, died April 19 of a spinal cord injury. He had been detained by police seven days earlier on a weapons charge and was dragged into a police van and driven, apparently unbuckled, in the back of the vehicle. Gray reportedly asked for medical help, but did not receive it until 30 minutes later. Parts of the crowd Saturday yelled out "Killers" and "You can't get away with this," to police dressed in riot gear.
The FBI office in Baltimore distributed a December memo advising that the Black Guerrilla Family gang was targeting "white cops" in Maryland to "send a message," an agency spokeswoman told the Baltimore Sun. The newspaper reported in January that a Black Guerrilla Family gang member attempted to enter a Baltimore police station with a gun to test security.
Freddie Gray's funeral took place Monday with thousands of people coming to Baltimore's New Shiloh Baptist Church for the service. Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered the eulogy, said Gray's family was "very fragile, very broken, very overwhelmed," USA Today reported.