Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots

Baltimore Lifts Its Curfew, So What's Next?


BALTIMORE (AP) -- Six days after riots sparked by Freddie Gray's death, Baltimore's mayor lifted a citywide curfew Sunday and faith leaders called for continued activism until justice is achieved.

A jubilant crowd of several hundred prayed and sang civil-rights anthems at a City Hall rally. Sunday's peaceful gathering came two days after the city's top prosecutor announced criminal charges against six officers involved in Gray's arrest.

Speaker after speaker exhorted the crowd not to rest just because the officers have been charged. The Rev. Jamal Bryant, a fiery leader of the protests that followed Gray's April 12 arrest and the death of the 25-year-old black man a week later, drew deafening cheers when he said the officers deserve jail time.

"We've got to see this all the way through, until all six officers trade in their blue uniform for an orange uniform," Bryant said. "Let them know: Orange is the new black."

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.

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Baltimore Day of Peace and Prayer - 5/3/2015
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Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 03: People hold hands during a rally lead by faith leaders in front of city hall calling for justice in response to the death of Freddie Gray on May 3, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray later died in custody; the Maryland state attorney announced on Friday that charges would be brought against the six police officers who arrested Gray. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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After nightfall Sunday, the large intersection of west Baltimore that was focal point of tense, nightly standoffs between police and protesters was relatively quiet. There was no obvious police activity and no one demonstrating despite the presence of media at the site on the first night without a curfew since the violence.

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. Earlier in the week, police had said that out of nearly 100 injured officers, 13 were hurt to the extent that they couldn't work, and 15 were on desk duty.

The order for residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. had been in place since Tuesday; officials had originally planned to maintain it through Monday morning. Protests since last Monday's riots have been peaceful, and Friday's announcement of charges eased tensions.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the curfew's end in a statement.

"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."

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Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore mayor, Baltimore protests, Freddie Gray
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Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake takes questions at a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to community members and the media near the site of a destroyed CVS pharmacy after riots broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake greets a concerned citizen the morning after citywide riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to the media outside Mondawmin Mall after looting broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (3rd L) pays her respects at Freddie Gray's casket during his funeral at the New Shiloh Baptist Church during his funeral April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake takes her seat for Freddie Gray's funeral at New Shiloh Baptist Church April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Mourners gathered in large numbers at the funeral of Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died April 19 after an encounter April 12 with police left him with grave spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake looks on during a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks to the media outside Mondawmin Mall after looting broke out yesterday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks as Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (R) looks on during a news conference at Bethel AME Church, April 26, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawlings-Blake discussed the recent unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has said Gray died after suffering a broken neck while inside a police van. On Friday, Mosby filed charges against the officers involved in his arrest and transport. One is charged with second-degree murder. Three others are charged with involuntary manslaughter and two with second-degree assault.

Mosby said Gray's neck was broken because he was placed head-first in a police van, handcuffed and later in 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.

Rioting and looting erupted hours after Gray's funeral last Monday. A 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew was ordered Tuesday after a night of violence, looting and arson. About 3,000 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the city along with 1,000 extra police officers, including some from out of state. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said the Guard and the officers would be leaving over the next few days.

"We think it's time to get the community back to normal again," Hogan said. "It's been a very hard week, but we've kept everybody safe."

The Maryland chapter of the ACLU 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."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Sunday he will ask President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to send a bipartisan delegation "to look at what is going on in Baltimore."

"It is so symbolic of what is going on all over this country. We have to address the problems of the urban areas because so many our young people are being left behind," Cummings said.

More than 200 people were arrested during Monday's riots, and more than half of those were released without charges. 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.

More to see: Protests in Baltimore

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(5/1 update) Baltimore curfew - Freddie Gray riots
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Baltimore mayor lifts curfew 6 days after riots
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 30: Riot police advance on protesters and media during protests in the Sandtown neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested on April 30, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 30: Members of the National Guard sit parked in a humvee in the Sandtown neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested on April 30, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Riot police monitor protesters near a CVS pharmacy that was looted and burned by rioters on Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Protesters argue near a CVS pharmacy that was looted and burned by rioters on Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Protesters argue near a CVS pharmacy that was looted and burned by rioters on Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Protestors defy curfew in front of police officers the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Protestors taunt police officers the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Police enforce a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10 p.m. near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Protesters hang out front of riot police minutes before a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10 p.m. near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Protestors say the Lord's Prayer beside riot police the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Riot police depart after forming a barricade and dispensing tear gas near the burned out CVS pharmacy the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Protestors defy curfew and taunt police officers the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: A protester holds up a sign as police enforce a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10PM near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: A motorcycle group formed a line in front of the Baltimore riot police the night after citywide riots over the death of Freddie Gray on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: A woman yells at police near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: A man hugs a friend after being prayed over during a protest near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: Riot police stand watch over a tire shop during protests near the CVS pharmacy that was burned to the ground yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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