As the protests in Baltimore continue to become more peaceful after six police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the city’s mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has called for the end of the Baltimore’s mandatory weeklong curfew. “Effective immediately, I have rescinded my order instituting a city-wide curfew. I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their patience,” the mayor tweeted Sunday. The curfew required all residents to be off the streets of Baltimore by 10 p.m.
“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,” Rawlings-Blake continued. The city instituted a curfew and declared a state of emergency after riots swept through Baltimore following the April 19th funeral of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody. Six officers were given criminal charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to depraved heart murder stemming from the incident. The National Guard have also begun pulling out of Baltimore, the New York Times reports.
Even with the curfew in place, protests continued to spill out onto the Baltimore streets after 10 p.m., resulting in dozens of arrests. Solidarity protests also spawned in cities like New York, Denver, Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Ferguson, Missouri. Due to the curfew, the Baltimore Orioles postponed games, moved a home series to Tampa Bay and played an entire game in front of an empty stadium.
After charges against the officers were announced, the Baltimore Sun published an in-depth look at the investigation into Freddie Gray’s death, a process which included compiling hundreds of hours of surveillance footage and laser-mapping the streets along the police van’s route to determine how and when Gray suffered his fatal injuries.
Gray’s spine was 80 percent severed and he had stopped breathing by the time he received medical help following his April 12th arrest. He soon slipped into a coma and passed away April 19th. According to the state attorney’s report, Gray was shackled by his ankles and wrists and left unfastened on his stomach as the police van drove around Baltimore after his arrest.
Despite Gray’s numerous requests for medical attention, the six officers refused to call for medical assistance. According to the Baltimore Sun report, one of the officers who encountered Gray even accused him of suffering from “jailitis.” The state attorney’s report also revealed that the camera inside the police van was broken and that it did not capture what occurred during Gray’s 45-minute ride.
The end of Baltimore’s curfew also comes a day after hundreds of protestors marched peacefully along a route that spanned from City Hall to the Gilmore Homes housing project where Gray was first apprehended.