The Latest: Baltimore lifts curfew after days of tension

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Posted: May 03, 2015 5:36 PM
The Latest: Baltimore lifts curfew after days of tension

5:30 p.m.

Baltimore police say they've made nearly 500 arrests and added that more than 100 officers have been injured since large-scale protests broke out after the death of Freddie Gray.

Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a police spokesman, said Sunday that 486 people have been arrested since April 23. The total includes arrests for violations of the citywide curfew that was lifted Sunday. He says 46 people were arrested the final night of the curfew.

Kowalczyk also says 113 officers had been injured while responding to riots and protests, although he did not detail how serious the injuries were. With the curfew over, he says officers will continue to deploy to "areas of concern" and monitor protest activity.

Protests since Monday have been peaceful, and the criminal charges announced Friday against the officers involved in Gray's arrest have eased tensions in the city. Gray died of a severe injury that prosecutors say he suffered while riding in a police van.

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5 p.m.

Several hundred jubilant people prayed and chanted for justice at a rally near Baltimore's City Hall organized by faith leaders. The rally comes days after the city's top prosecutor charged six officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after being injured in police custody.

Under a blazing afternoon sun, 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 Rev. Jamal Bryant, a fiery leader of the protests, drew deafening applause when he praised Toya Graham, the woman who yanked her son from a crowd of rioters.

Bryant also blasted President Barack Obama and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for calling the rioters and looters "thugs.

"A year from now, the same children you call thugs will be registered to vote," Bryant thundered.

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3 p.m.

Baltimore residents expressed pleasure Sunday that officials were lifting the curfew in place since Tuesday, a day after rioting and looting broke out over the death of Freddie Gray.

Chanell Banks says many people wanted to go out to bars and restaurants on Saturday night to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, but couldn't because of the curfew.

"You don't realize how much you enjoy your freedom until somebody tells you you can't do something," she said.

Oronde Short also was glad the curfew would be ending. "I think it's great because this way the citizens of Baltimore can get on with their normal lives," he said.

Gray, a black man, died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. Six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

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2:40 p.m.

Gov. Larry Hogan says the Maryland National Guard has begun demobilizing the 3,000 troops brought into Baltimore after rioting last week. He says that process will take about three days.

Hogan said Sunday that the state of emergency won't be lifted until the last of the national guard has left. He says he and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke and they agree it's time to get the community back to normal. He says lifting the curfew is a good idea.

"It's been a really rough week," Hogan said. "But let's get back to normal in the city and get people back to work and back to school and get people coming back into the city to visit the shops that were really devastated this week."

Hogan says the city lost 200 businesses to rioting. He says many were minority-owned and some of those businesses did not have insurance.

Hogan spoke after attending church with his wife in west Baltimore on Sunday, a day when he was calling for unity and reconciliation.

Violence erupted after last Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. Six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

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1 p.m.

During a mass attended by Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday at St. Peter Claver church in west Baltimore, Archbishop William Lori told parishioners that Freddie Gray's death exposed long-standing issues such as failing schools, insecure family situations and mistrust between communities and civic officials.

"We must acknowledge the right of people who see no way out to make their voices heard and to lift up their frustration and anger publicly," Lori said. "Yet to do so in a way that does not create more injustice and more destruction."

Violence followed last Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. Six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

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12:30 p.m.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sees the reopening of a west Baltimore mall looted during riots nearly a week ago as a reason for hope.

At a news conference outside Mondawmin Mall on Sunday afternoon, Rawlings-Blake said seeing the mall bounce back so quickly makes her optimistic.

"Right now I'm very confident. What we saw over the last few days, is not just the resiliency of our city, but also our communities coming together. We want to heal our city," she said. "We know we have challenges in Baltimore. We know there's work to be done."

The mayor says the national guard will unwind its operations over the coming week.

Violence followed hours after last Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. Six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

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11 a.m.

Baltimore's mayor has lifted a citywide curfew six days after the death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in the city.

The order for residents to stay home after 10 p.m. had been in place since Tuesday, and officials had planned to keep it in place through Sunday. Protests since Monday's riots have been peaceful, and the announcement of charges against six officers involved in Gray's arrest eased tensions.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement Sunday morning that her goal was not to maintain the curfew any longer than was necessary.

Gray died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. The six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

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10 a.m.

The lawyer for Freddie Gray's family says there would be no need to move any trial out of Baltimore in the case of six police officers charged in the death of a black man in police custody.

Lawyer Billy Murphy said those who want to move such a proceeding from the majority-black city must prove that the officers couldn't get a fair trial in Baltimore.

"There are people who don't want it in Baltimore, because they see everything through a racial lens," Murphy told "Fox News Sunday." ''There's no reason to move it out of Baltimore."

Gray died after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody. The six officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

Charges against the six officers must be proved before a jury of 12 people, Murphy said, adding the officers will have ample opportunity to defend themselves.

"We can do this is in Baltimore just like it's been done all over the country," he said.