Baltimore holds victory rally after mayor lifts curfew
Thousands of people have staged a victory rally in the US city of Baltimore after the mayor announced to lift curfew which was imposed following violent protests over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
“I have rescinded my order instituting a city-wide curfew. I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their patience,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Sunday.
“My goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary. I believe we have reached that point today,” she said.
The 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew had been in place for five nights. But demonstrators had defied the curfew several times.
The protesters gathered at Baltimore City Hall on Sunday afternoon to celebrate what they called their victory over police brutality.
“This is a festival for all of Baltimore. We’re standing together,” Bryant said Rev. Jamal Bryant, one of the organizers of the event.
He added that Americans in Baltimore were “declaring victory” over police brutality and racial profiling.
“We have shut this city down to say we will not go forward in pain,” Bryant said.
Baltimore has been the site of daily demonstrations since the death of Gray, as tensions simmer over police brutality and discrimination against African-Americans.
Gray died on April 19, a week after an encounter with police that left him with grave spinal injuries. Authorities have not explained how or when his spine was injured.
On Friday, six Baltimore police officers who were involved in Gray’s arrest were charged in connection with his death.
Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, told reporters that her office’s investigation determined that Gray’s death was a homicide, adding that his arrest was illegal and his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter.
Prosecutors charged the officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, with multiple counts including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the killing of the 25-year-old African American.