Gang members in Baltimore said Tuesday they resent authorities saying that they have threatened to "take out" police officers, when really what they're trying to do is bring peace to a city that has erupted in violent riots Monday night.
As some protesters demanded answers about why 25-year-old Freddie Gray died a week after his arrest by Baltimore police, some factions started looting stores, igniting fires and damaging police vehicles Monday.
As the unrest began Monday, the Baltimore Police Department released a warning Monday stating that members of three gangs — The Black Guerrilla Family, Bloods and Crips — "have entered into a partnership to 'take-out' law enforcement officers."
But gang members, who didn't want to be identified, claimed to NBC affiliate WBAL that warning was wrong.
"You mean to tell me that you guys are pointing the finger at us because we have colors on," asked a member of the Bloods. "No."
The gang member told WBAL that while he can't account for all of his fellow gangsters, he knows many are trying to prevent the violence.
"It just makes us look bad. It’s backing up what they’re saying about us," he said.
Several members from at least one other gang agreed, as they all spoke with a reporter together. "We're one right now," the gang member said.
"What we’re trying to get across is, we can come together as a unit and be unified and be peaceful," said another man in the group, wearing blue.
— Elisha Fieldstadt