Mayor placing violence-hit US city under curfew
The mayor of Baltimore has announced to place the US city under curfew from Tuesday night after protests turned violent in the wake of an African-American’s death in police custody.
“Again, there will be a city wide curfew, 10:00 pm to 5:00 am,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters on Monday.
“This preliminary curfew will last for one week and be extended as it is necessary,” she added.
In addition, she said that the Maryland National Guard will be deployed in the violence-hit city.
The mayor said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan had agreed to deploy National Guardsmen “as soon as they are available”.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
According to police, at least 27 more people were arrested on Monday and that 15 police officers were also injured during their clashes with protesters.
Baltimore police chief of patrol Colonel Darryl De Sousa vowed to take the city back.
“We’re not going to tolerate that. The police department is not going to stand for that. We’re fully deployed at this point,” he added.
“We canceled leave for all of our police officers, so they’re deployed on the streets as we speak.”
Violence broke out after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of severe spinal injuries on April 19, a week after he was arrested and detained by Baltimore police.
The tragic incident, which was captured by an eyewitness on his cell phone, shows an injured Gray being dragged into a van by police officers.
Gray’s death in police custody sparked protests over the weekend in the largely black city, and there had already been a large number of arrests and several police injuries before the latest incident of violence.
The demonstrators were carrying placards bearing the message “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice 4 Freddie Gray”.
They also chanted slogans against racial discrimination and police brutality in the United States, with many shouting “No Justice No Peace,” which has become a centerpiece of the persisting protests over the past week.
The tragic incident was just one of a succession of fatal police brutalities in recent months.
In recent months, large-scale protests were held across the US after a series of high-profile incidents of white police officers killing unarmed African-American men, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York and Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.