Over the last few days, Baltimore has erupted into chaos over the death of Freddie Gray. Over a week ago, Gray died from a spinal cord injury while in police custody. And this was not an isolated incident.

“The city has paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits claiming that police officers brazenly beat up alleged suspects,” according to a September 2014 report from the The Baltimore Sun.

Needless to say, tensions were high and it took an incident like this for things to reach a boiling point. Unfortunately, this did not result in peaceful protests, but riots that led to “hundreds of arrests, 144 vehicle fires and 19 structure fires,” according to Kevin Harris.

Former Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis is calling for an end to the violence. “Violence has never been the answer,” the Super Bowl winning player stated. “We don’t do nothing for him by doing this. We know there is a deeper issue… But this is not it.”

On top of this, athletes like Carmelo Anthony and Patrick Willis took to social media in an attempt to stop the violence.

We all want Justice. And our city will get the answers we are looking for. My deepest sympathy goes out to the GRAY Family. To see my city in a State of Emergency is just shocking. We need to protect our city, not destroy it. What happens when we get the answers that we want, and the media attention is not there anymore? We go back to being the same ol Baltimore City again. If not yourself, then Think about the youth. How this will impact them. Let’s build our city up not tear it down. Although, we want justice, let’s look at the real issues at hand. For example, When was the last school built in Baltimore? That’s just one example. I know my community is fed up. I’m all about fighting for what we believe in. The anger, the resentment, the neglect that our community feels right now, will not change over night. Continue, fighting for what you believe in. But remember, it takes no time to destroy something. But, it can take forever to build it back up. Peace7. #Thisonehitshome #BeMore #LetsNotFallForTheTrap “Please Understand What State Of Emergency Mean”(Destroy and Conquer) #StayMe7o

A photo posted by @carmeloanthony on

These athletes have done a fantastic job, stepping up as role models. While they rightfully call for social change, it is important to use a level head: violence will never solve anything.

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