Updated May 3, 2015, 12 p.m. EDT: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday lifted a daily 10 p.m. curfew that was imposed five days ago after violence erupted during protests over the death of Freddie Gray, reports NBC News. She made the announcement via Twitter:
Updated May 3, 2015, 11:30 a.m. EDT: According to the New York Times, thousands of people of all ages and races rallied peacefully Saturday in front of Baltimore City Hall to call for an end to police mistreatment of black men, but also an end to the curfew imposed by the mayor in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray.
But not long after the 10 p.m. curfew, a small handful of people were arrested after throwing projectiles at law-enforcement officers during the otherwise peaceful event.
Scores of demonstrators are expected to gather Saturday to celebrate the filing of criminal charges against six officers in the case of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries sustained in police custody, reports the Associated Press.
Marchers are expected to hit the streets this weekend to celebrate Friday’s announcement by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby that she had filed charges, ranging from assault to second-degree murder, against the officers, the report says.
Black Lawyers for Justice is expecting at least 10,000 people to attend a protest rally Saturday in downtown Baltimore, AP writes.
Gray’s death from spinal injuries a week after his April 12 arrest sparked protests, which in some instances gave way to rioting and arson, in Baltimore on Monday. Solidarity protests spread to other major cities across the country as the death of the 25-year-old man became the latest symbol of what many see as a persistent problem in the nation’s criminal-justice system.
But the protests turned jubilant Friday after Mosby announced that she had found that Gray’s arrest was illegal and unjustified. Mosby said that Gray’s neck was broken because he was restrained and placed headfirst into a police van, where his cries for help were ignored as he was jostled about in the small metal compartment in the moving vehicle, AP writes.
The officers involved in his arrest and subsequent handling missed five opportunities to obtain medical help for the injured Gray before he arrived at a police station and was found to be no longer breathing, Mosby said. Officers had even rerouted the van to pick up another detainee passenger, she said.
Celebrations over Mosby’s morning announcement lasted well into the evening, and the curfew ordered by authorities earlier in the week remained in effect at 10 p.m. The mood turned sour as officers with shields, pepper spray and batons worked to remove protesters, the Baltimore Sun reports. During protests Friday night, police arrested 53 people, 15 of whom were detained outside Baltimore City Hall for violating the curfew, notes the report.