Even though Baltimore remains in a state of unrest, its mayor, Stephane Rawlings-Blake, has lifted the citywide curfew that previously directed residents to remain inside their homes between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.
Reports AP Online:
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.
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.”
The National Guard is also leaving.
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.”
As an outsider, it seems like these are good-faith efforts to restore a sense of order and calm—and yet the dynamic of Freddie Gray’s death and events following it is too intense, too complex for anyone to play a game of “sweep this under the rug and put on a happy face.”
Image via AP