Pierre, who said she saw her corner dissolve into chaos Monday night, feels that the violence in her neighborhood stemmed from decades of abuse by police.
She said she had had both positive and negative interactions with local police officers.
“I don't hold every single one of them accountable,” she said.
“The curfew, I can't say it's really helpful. It's a much bigger problem. It's a much larger issue,” she said.
“Things have been bad for a very long time,” she said. “I don't agree with the rioting and I don't agree with the fires. But something has to get somebody's attention to say ‘You can't keep killing us.’”
Others suggested the unrest was about more than race or the police department — it was about high unemployment, high crime, poor housing, broken-down schools and lack of opportunity in Baltimore's inner-city neighborhoods.
The city of 622,000 is 63 percent black. The mayor, state's attorney, police chief and City Council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force. Almost a quarter of Baltimore's 620,000 residents live below the poverty line. The gritty television police drama “The Wire” was set in decayed, crime-ridden areas of the city.
Now that many recreation centers are closed, a lack of activities for kids is one of the more pressing problems, Pierre said.
“There's so much more they could do than implementing a curfew,” she said.
Pierre worried that if the presence of National Guard troops failed to calm the city, martial law would be declared.
She reiterated how she'd explained martial law to her children.
“That means all of your rights have been removed,” she said. “You have no choice in your way of life. They will have you in the house when they want you in the house. You will not be able to move about.”
“We're already living in a prison,” she said. “Look at the environment we live in. We're already in jail.”
Gerard King, 25, a musician from the east side Baltimore, suggested imposing a curfew was misguided.
“You tell a group of autonomous individuals ... that doesn't follow laws, that they have to be inside at 10 o'clock, when many African Americans work nights — you're gonna end up with a bunch of people getting locked up and losing their jobs,” he said.
“The curfew for 18-year-olds — 11 p.m. — it already doesn't work now,” he said.
Schools, which were closed Tuesday, will reopen on Wednesday, according to a notice posted on the Baltimore school system's website. The notice also said that after-school sports and clubs will also take place.
The Baltimore Orioles canceled Tuesday night's game at Camden Yards and — in what may be a first in major league baseball's 145-year history — announced that Wednesday's game will be closed to the public.
During the day on Tueday, political leaders and residents called the violence a tragedy for the city and lamented the damage done by the rioters to their own neighborhoods.
Rawlings-Blake took back her remarks about thugs.
“We don't have thugs in Baltimore,” the mayor said, according to the Sun. “We have a lot of kids that are acting out, a lot of people in our community who are acting out, and the bad part of it is, we all know that on the other side of this they are going to regret what they've done.”
“We're not thugs, we're just upset,” said Malik McBride, 25, a protester originally from Oakland, California.
Haywood McMorris, manager of the looted CVS store, said the destruction didn't make sense: “We work here, man. This is where we stand, and this is where people actually make a living.”
The crisis is the first time the National Guard has been called out to deal with unrest in Baltimore since 1968, when some of the same neighborhoods that rose up this week burned for days after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. At least six people died then, and some neighborhoods still bear the scars.
Jascy Jones of Baltimore said the sight of National Guardsmen on the street gave her a “very eerie feeling.”
“It brought a tear to my eye. Seeing it doesn't feel like the city that I love,” she said. “I am glad they're here, but it's hard to watch.”
But as the crowds dispersed, one community activist who had urged youth to return home and obey the curfew said she felt she had successfully helped to keep a tense, dangerous situation under control.
“I do feel that we've had a victory because it didn't escalate into anything crazy,” the Rev. Pamela Coleman said. “It wasn't the way we intended, but it wasn't crazy bad.”
Additional reporting by Marisa Taylor and wire services