Activists took to the streets of Baltimore's Penn North neighbourhood on 27 April, to protest over the death of Freddie Gray and the actions of the Baltimore Police Department. Gray's death, which occurred on 19 April 2015 from injuries sustained in police custody, sparked days of protests and rioting in Baltimore.

The protest marked a court order, issued by a Baltimore Circuit judge, ordering a second officer to testify in the case against six Baltimore police officers, indicted over Gray's death in 2015. Elsewhere in the city, police shot a 14-year-old boy who was said to have been holding a 'replica gun'.

The boy suffered what police called non-life-threatening injuries to a "lower extremity," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. The weapon turned out to be a spring-air-powered BB gun, and not a real firearm.

The boy's mother identified him as 14-year-old Dedric Colvin, an eighth-grade student at City Springs Middle School. Volanda Young said her son was shot once in the shoulder and once in the leg. After decades in law enforcement, the officer might have mistaken the replica gun for a firearm, Davis said.

"I looked at it myself today, I stood right over top of it, I put my own eyes on it," he said. "It's an absolute, identical replica semiautomatic pistol. Those police officers had no way of knowing that it was not, in fact, an actual firearm. It looks like a firearm."