Your guide to the Baltimore unrest emails

This week, Baltimore city released thousands of internal emails and other documents related to the city’s handling of unrest on April 27th, in response to a Maryland Public Information Act request. Through the work of City Explainer and donors, the full archive is now publicly available. Baltimore Rex is nerding out over the documents, trying to find the most interesting, important things in the pile, and source the materials reported on by other outlets. This page is an incomplete work-in-progress and will be updated. See something we missed? Let us know @ or on Twitter @baltimorerex

Baltimore Sun reporting, sourced

Links to the source materials for each of the Baltimore Sun’s stories on the archive:

Baltimore officials discussed ‘riot’ an hour before first brick was thrown

“URGENT” email about possible riot

“State troopers have been assisting. National guard is only when there is a state of emergency.”

Rihanna wanted to play free concert in Baltimore, walk with protesters

subsequent daily briefing email with permit-related “no” from police:

Mayor wanted Baltimore curfew lifted early; governor disagreed

Mayor Rawlings-Blake aides discussed sending ‘scouts’ ahead of her appearances amid curfew anger

Officials closely watched Malik Shabazz during Freddie Gray protests

heads up from kim truehart

conversation about shabazz-led protest group


Homeless allowed to stay on street during Baltimore’s post-riot curfew

Police priorities after Baltimore riots: life, property, traffic and restoration

Baltimore police had riot equipment on order as unrest spread

moore’s shield, pepper spray order

Henry Raymond approval of purchases

missing riot helmet?

Emails to former Police Commissioner Batts show praise, criticism

there are a lot of these!

fox5dc reporter flattery

Batts’ messages to police department, operations plan redacted

mostly redacted operations plan

batts’ Sunday message

Officials combed social media for information as violence flared

the threat sheet

the threat sheet as a more-readable google doc

Lawyer for Freddie Gray’s family asked Batts to stop talking about meeting

letter from murphy

Baltimore police prioritized event for Korean businesses, thanks to Md.’s first lady

Confusion reigned as Jewish community groups sought Baltimore curfew exemptions

Chaos detailed in 7,000 riot-related emails turned over to Baltimore Sun

“unless I am the only person who finds this unacceptable”

Other interesting docs

ZeroFox provides threat assessment to city, warning against activists, phony Twitter accounts, and weak cybersecurity.

The report

ZeroFox CEO James Foster reaches out to mayor’s office on April 27th

Emails from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake almost completely absent from the documents, few that are included have her email address redacted

Police protester response action timeline from 4/23 to 4/27

city officials tie unrest to need for economic development, red line

“connecting recent events to the critical need to build the Red Line. As far as I can see it, I don’t think there’s a more direct connection that could be made by a City leader regarding investment and the creation of opportunity” – (caught by @ajzaleski)

A supporter tells Anthony Batts to consider using Freddie Gray’s criminal past to turn public perception, Batts passes it to spokesman and to FOP president Gene Ryan– (caught by @obscurememory)

Mayor’s Office of Government Relations leader Mary Pat Fannon grumbles about Hogan moving his office to Baltimore

“This sucks.”