The young man in the blue hoodie seen in pictures smashing police cars during violent protests in Baltimore has a name and a family. He is Allen Bullock. He voluntarily surrendered to police, only to be held on half a million dollars' bail, an amount his parents say is "ridiculous."
Bullock, 18, is charged with eight counts, including rioting and malicious destruction of property — all of them misdemeanors — after he showed up with his stepfather at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center.
His stepfather, Maurice Hawkins, told the British newspaper The Guardian that Bullock agreed to surrender because the police would "find him, knock down our door and beat him."
"By turning himself in, he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognized what he did was wrong," said Hawkins, who said he confronted his stepson after seeing him on TV during demonstrations Saturday.
"It is just so much money," Bullock's mom, Bobbi Smallwood, told the newspaper. "Who could afford to pay that?"
Smallwood said authorities were "going about this the wrong way," adding: "Just destroying stuff for nothing? I think that's ridiculous."
F. Michael Higginbotham, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, agreed.
"I think that that goes to continuing strained police-community relations," Higginbotham told NBC station WBAL of Baltimore.
"We need to take a step back and say, OK, how do we go forward from here? What is the way to improve police-community relations, not exacerbate it?" he said. "I think these high bail amounts will exacerbate it."
The Baltimore state's attorney's office wouldn't discuss the specifics of Bullock's case. But it said that with violence still possible — two large protests over the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died in police custody, are planned for this weekend — authorities don't want to release the most violent demonstrators back onto the street.
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— M. Alex Johnson