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Bal­ti­more lifts city­wide cur­few

Sol­diers, ex­tra of­fi­cers to leave in com­ing days

- By Juliet Lin­der­man and Ben Nuck­ols As­so­ci­ated Press

Gov. Larry Ho­gan says Na­tional Guards­men and ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers will be leav­ing the city in the next few days.

BAL­TI­MORE — Six days af­ter the death of 25-yearold Fred­die Gray sparked ri­ots in Bal­ti­more, the city’s mayor lifted a city­wide cur­few Sun­day, sig­nal­ing an end to the ex­tra­or­di­nary mea­sures taken to en­sure public safety amid an out­cry over po­lice prac­tices.

Mean­while, hun­dreds of ju­bi­lant peo­ple prayed and chanted for jus­tice at a rally in front of City Hall or­ga­nized by faith lead­ers.

The rally comes days af­ter the city’s top pros­e­cu­tor charged six of­fi­cers in­volved in Gray’s ar­rest.

The Rev. Lisa Weah, pas­tor of the New Beth­le­hem Bap­tist Church in Gray’s neigh­bor­hood, said the mes­sage of equal jus­tice for all must not be lost.

“Our prayer is that Bal­ti­more will be the model for the rest of the na­tion,” she said.

The or­der for res­i­dents to stay home be­tween 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. had been in place since Tues­day, and of­fi­cials had planned to main­tain it through Mon­day morn­ing.

Protests since last Mon­day’s ri­ots have been peace­ful, and Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment of charges against the of­fi­cers eased ten­sions.

Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake said in a state­ment that she didn’t 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. “It was not an easy de­ci­sion, but one I felt was nec­es­sary to help our city re­store calm.”

Gray died April 19, a week af­ter he suf­fered a bro­ken neck in­side a po­lice van.

On Fri­day, State’s At­tor­ney Mar­i­lyn Mosby filed charges against the six of­fi­cers in­volved in his ar­rest, trans­port and fa­tal in­jury.

The of­fi­cers face charges rang­ing from man­slaugh­ter to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

Gray’s death has been deemed a homi­cide.

Mosby said 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.

Po­lice said the of­fi­cers who ar­rested Gray ig­nored his cries for help be­cause they thought he was fak­ing his in­juries. He was re­peat­edly de­nied med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

At a demon­stra­tion Satur­day that was billed as a “victory rally,” speak­ers ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Mosby for her de­ci­sion.

“Ev­ery pros­e­cu­tor should have such back­bone,” said Ma­lik Shabazz, pres­i­dent of Black Lawyers for Jus­tice and one of the demon­stra­tion’s or­ga­niz­ers.

The 10 p.m. cur­few, which was or­dered Tues­day af­ter a night of vi­o­lence, loot­ing and ar­son, drew harsh crit­i­cism from the city’s res­i­dents.

About 3,000 Na­tional Guards­men were de­ployed to the city along with 1,000 ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing some from out of state.

Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan said the Na­tional Guard and the of­fi­cers would be leav­ing over the next few days.

“When I came into the city on Mon­day night, it was in flames,” Ho­gan said. “We think it’s time to get the com­mu­nity back to nor­mal again. It’s been a very hard week, but we’ve kept every­body safe. Since Mon­day night, we haven’t had any se­ri­ous prob­lems.”

The Mary­land chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union sent a let­ter to Rawl­ings-Blake on Satur­day al­leg­ing that the cur­few was “be­ing en­forced ar­bi­trar­ily and se­lec­tively” to break up peace­ful protests and pre­vent me­dia out­lets from pro­vid­ing ac­cu­rate cov­er­age of po­lice ac­tiv­ity.

“The cur­few is hav­ing a dra­matic ef­fect on the abil­ity of Bal­ti­more res­i­dents to sim­ply go about their daily lives free from fear or ar­bi­trary ar­rest,” the let­ter read, adding that it’s also “the tar­get of protest and the source of new prob­lems rather than a so­lu­tion.”

Po­lice said Sun­day that 486 peo­ple had been ar­rested since April 23 and that 113 of­fi­cers had been in­jured at ri­ots and protests.

The ex­tent of the of­fi­cers’ in­juries was un­clear.

Rawl­ings-Blake said dur­ing an ap­pear­ance Sun­day on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that au­thor­i­ties are comb­ing through video­tapes to iden­tify loot­ers and charge them.

 ?? DAVID GOLD­MAN/AP ?? Mary­land res­i­dent Kim Thomas prays Sun­day in front of Bal­ti­more’s City Hall, where hun­dreds of ju­bi­lant peo­ple gath­ered for a rally. A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m cur­few that had been in place on the city since Tues­day was lifted on the same day.
DAVID GOLD­MAN/AP Mary­land res­i­dent Kim Thomas prays Sun­day in front of Bal­ti­more’s City Hall, where hun­dreds of ju­bi­lant peo­ple gath­ered for a rally. A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m cur­few that had been in place on the city since Tues­day was lifted on the same day.

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