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Baltimore, MD (April 28, 2015) – As the rioters tear through the streets of Baltimore, MD, boxing promoter and gym owner Jake “The Snake” Smith remains extremely concerned for his friends, family and community. Like many other locals, Smith not only calls the Baltimore area his home but a place where he makes a living.

Having spent his entire life in and around Baltimore, Smith’s two children attend nearby schools and his Baltimore Boxing Gym is located on S. Broadway. For the safety of those that attend, Smith closed his gym yesterday and is keeping the doors shut today as well. Due the violent protests of Freddie Gray’s death, Smith isn’t positive when he will be able to continue training his boxers, many of whom use the Baltimore Boxing Gym as a resource to escape the preexisting dangers of the streets.

“In my forty-plus years in Baltimore, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said Smith, whose promotional efforts have helped many local organizations through raffles and donations. “We are all aware that there are issues with police brutality throughout the country and while I am extremely disappointed with the lack of prosecution following specific incidents, rioting only makes everything worse. I truly understand that emotions are at all-time highs in Baltimore and people want their voices to be heard but this is not the way to do it. Having worked with people from all walks of life, I wholeheartedly respect everybody’s point of view but I am pleading with the community as a whole to schedule peaceful and civilized meetings with city officials. This is the only way for everybody to get their thoughts and opinions out while hearing what the other side has to say. Riots are only going to tear apart and create further distance between police and citizens in this great city. I pray that everything calms down quickly and a resolution is met.”