AFRICANGLOBE – The young man allegedly responsible for smashing the windows of a police car during the Baltimore protests on Monday (April 27) is being held on $500k bail and could face life in prison after his own parents encouraged him to surrender.
Allen Bullock, 18, was allegedly captured on camera in the midst of the unrest, sparked by the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody.
Bullock was allegedly pictured on top of a police vehicle, destroying the car’s windows using an orange traffic cone.
“As parents, we wanted Allen to do the right thing,” Bullock’s mother, Bobbi Smallwood, told reporters. “He was dead wrong and he does need to be punished. But he wasn’t leading this riot. He hasn’t got that much power.”
She added: “By turning himself in he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognized what he did was wrong. But they are making an example of him and it is not right.”
Bullock’s parents have now come to regret their action and say they did not realise the law would punish their son unfairly.
The teen, who faces eight counts of criminal charges including property destruction and rioting, which can carry a life sentence in Maryland, is being held on $500k bail fee and could be jailed for life if convicted.
His mother and stepfather, Maurice Hawkins, can barely afford to sustain their everyday needs. The family lives in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood in Baltimore.
Hawkins said the death of Gray moved his stepson and motivated him to join the street protests because “he [Bullock] said the police were hunting and killing, not serving and protecting.”
A day before he turned himself in, Bullock allegedly posted a picture on Facebook of him smashing the car.
He wrote: “This is for you I miss you already… I’m in here crying sh** ain’t going to stop I don’t care about that locked up sh**”
Gray died on April 19, a week after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody.
Peaceful protests on Saturday and Monday escalated into riots.
The Maryland National Guard is now patrolling the streets of Baltimore.
Hawkins told reporters he believes he did the right thing in encouraging the teenager, but slammed the bail and charges, saying, “this is not justice”.
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