Six days after the death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in Baltimore, the city’s mayor lifted a citywide curfew yesterday, signalling an end to the extraordinary measures taken to ensure public safety amid an outcry over police practices.
The order for residents to stay home between 10pm and 5am had been in place since Tuesday. Protests since last Monday’s riots were peaceful, and Friday’s announcement of charges against six officers involved in Gray’s arrest eased tensions.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she did not want the curfew to continue any longer than necessary.
“My number one priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health, and welfare of Baltimore citizens,” the Democratic mayor said.
Gray died after suffering a broken neck while inside a police van.
On Friday, state attorney Marilyn Mosby filed charges against the six officers involved in his arrest, transport, and fatal injury.
Mosby, who deemed the death a homicide, said that Gray’s neck was broken because he was placed head-first into a police van while in handcuffs and later leg shackles where he was left to slam against the walls of the small metal compartment.
At a demonstration on Saturday that was billed as a “victory rally”, speakers expressed gratitude to Mosby for her decision.
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