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Protesters looted shops and smashed police cars in downtown Baltimore as the biggest demonstration yet over the death of a young African-American man in police custody turned violent. More than 1,000 people had joined an orderly 90-minute rally at city hall on Saturday, demanding justice for Freddie Gray, 25, who died last Sunday from spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in west Baltimore. Live images from local television news helicopters showed a crowd hurling traffic cones, soda bottles and trash cans at police officers, before randomly smashing store windows and looting merchandise. "Protesters are now breaking windows and throwing items at us," the Baltimore police department confirmed on its Twitter feed.