Community reacts to Baltimore protests

YUMA, Ariz. – The tensions in Baltimore are being felt right here in the Desert Southwest.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent Monday in the streets of Baltimore. The nation anxiously watches as more protests ensue.

“People don’t even know what they’re protesting for anymore. They’ll start a protest and it turns into looting,” Fernando Baron said, who is a Yuma resident against the violence in Baltimore.

While the Desert Southwest is more than 2000 miles away, many locals are concerned about the riots and destruction.

Yuma resident Freddie Oldridge said “This is really disturbing.”

Police have already made roughly 200 arrests, and that number is expected to grow.

Baron said, “It’s a bunch of nonsense is what it is.”

At least 20 officers were injured in the process.

“These type of things should not happen,” Oldridge told us.

The unrest began when Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained during his arrest earlier this month.

Manuel Gutierrez said he was concerned about police brutality in the U.S. He said, “The policeman, they took the law into their own hands. They were given an inch and they’ll take a mile.”

Maryland’s governor issued a state of emergency, and the city of Baltimore has a 10 p.m. curfew in place for one week beginning Tuesday.

Yuma resident Jay Reader said agrees with the message behind the marches in Baltimore.

“If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem,” he explained.

As a once protester of the Vietnam War, Reader said violence is never the answer.

“I’m never in favor of violent protests. I’m an adherent to nonviolent protests,” Reader said.

Everyone i spoke with hopes to see Baltimore find peace sooner rather than later.

“I don’t know if anybody really has a solution to this.”

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

Related posts