BALTIMORE -- The riots in Baltimore started Monday at the Mondawmin Mall. Two days later, the mall was where self-identified gang members were trying to restore peace.
Police had assembled at the mall Monday anticipating violence after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died after being injured in police custody last month. The mall is a major transit hub for high school students going home from school. The city not only shut down the metro station there that day, but prevented students from boarding buses that would have take them to their respective neighborhoods, according to reports.
With so many students stuck at the mall, and so much simmering anger over Gray's death, the situation escalated. Some people started throwing bricks and bottles at the officers, and before long, stores were being looted. The mayhem then spread to other neighborhoods.
Buildings caught fire, police officers were injured, hundreds of arrests were made and suddenly the whole country was watching Baltimore on TV.
But on Wednesday, when far fewer cameras were focused on the mall, members of rival gangs banded together to make sure students there got home from school safely. Men who identified themselves as Bloods, Crips and members of the Black Guerilla Family, among other groups, worked with local community leaders to keep the peace.
The Huffington Post talked with the gang members Wednesday as police helicopters buzzed overhead and the National Guard and riot cops looked on. The students got on the buses peacefully and made their way home.
Watch the video above.
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