Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who once served as Baltimore's mayor, abruptly cut short a trip to Europe on Monday to travel back to the city that exploded in rioting following the funeral of Freddie Gray, an African American who died in police custody.
O'Malley, the prospective Democratic presidential candidate who had been scheduled to deliver paid speeches in London and Dublin, announced his return in a statement sent to media outlets and posted on Twitter.
"I'm saddened that the City I love is in such pain this night," O'Malley said in the statement. "All of us share a profound feeling of grief for Freddie Gray and his family. We must come together as one City to transform this moment of loss and pain into a safer and more just future for all of Baltimore's people."
Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order on Monday afternoon declaring a state of emergency, and mobilized the National Guard to send troops to try and calm the violence. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, meanwhile, issued a city-wide curfew.
O'Malley, who also served on Baltimore's city council, tweeted his support for Gray's family earlier in the day.
Gray died 15 days ago of a spinal cord injury after being chased by police.