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Riot police stood guard on the smouldering streets of the US city of Baltimore Tuesday after protesters incensed by the death of a young black man in police custody went on the rampage, torching cars and buildings and looting stores. The state of Maryland declared a state of emergency after rioters ransacked shops, making off with armloads of merchandise. City officials, black community leaders and the family of 25-year-old Freddie Gray expressed disgust over the degeneration of the protests following his funeral. "Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.