Baltimore: Bloods, Crips, Black Guerrilla Family and Nation of Islam unite against police brutality, violence and to rebuild community
Gang rivals from the Bloods, the Crips and Black Guerrilla Family are standing side-by-side against police brutality in Baltimore this week, determined to unite for a "common good".
Several photos purportedly showing members of the usually warring gangs posing together have been shared on social media, in an alliance apparently brokered by the Nation of Islam activists in honour of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in police custody and whose funeral served as the catalyst for the riots.
One photo sees men in red bandanas sitting next to men in blue bandanas with their fists in the air, while a video shows members of each gang with their arms around each other explaining that they've put their differences aside because they don't want people to get hurt.
"I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good," said Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6. "At the rally, they made the call that they must be united on that day. It should be commended."
"We can unite and stop killing one another," he added to The Daily Beast, "and the Bloods and the Crips can help rebuild their community."
In a video by The Baltimore Sun, Charles Shelley, from the Crips, puts his arm around Jamal, from the Bloods, as they attend a church meeting.
Shelley said: 'We ain't out here for nobody to get hurt. You got a Crip here, you got a Blood here... we don't want nobody to get hurt.'
The truce of criminal gangs in the name of peace shows just how severe the situation is in Baltimore, where buildings are being torched and looted (though it should be noted that the vast majority of people protested peacefully).
Plenty of people are trying to stop the rioting however, including this man who was filmed standing between police and rioters urging: "Do not give them a reason".
Independent News Service