Following a Week of Protests, Baltimore's Mayor Lifts Its Curfew

Illustration for article titled Following a Week of Protests, Baltimores Mayor Lifts Its Curfew

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

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The only reason this curfew got lifted is because on Saturday night mostly white neighborhood of Hampden had a big group of people out breaking the curfew, and there is video of the police asking them very nicely to go home, giving them tons of warning and even giving rides to some of the curfew breakers. Meanwhile over at Penn North, a mostly black neighborhood, 40 people were arrested for being out past curfew, many were maced and one man was maced, handcuffed and slammed to the sidewalk on LIVE FUCKING TV and had to be taken to the hospital. That night basically exposed the curfew for the racist bullshit it was to begin with. There was no way they could keep the curfew in place with those videos making rounds on local news.

Plus I want to know what the cost of having all these Guardsmen around who stood around taking pictures and doing absolutely nothing the whole damn week. I live in Baltimore and have to walk by Inner harbor to get to work everyday and all week I didn’t see them do anything except stand around holding huge guns, eating Chipotle and looking bored out of their minds. They were mostly stationed around all the rich/touristy/white areas. I didn’t feel any “safer” with them around, it just felt oppresive and like I was living in a military occupied country. Friday, they were letting little kids climb into their trucks and taking picture with tourists. I wanna know how much all this fucking shit cost us. I have a feeling all the Guardsmen and cops from surrounding states and counties probably cost us way more than damage from the riot. They weren’t actually needed for ANYTHING since late Monday night, ironically, they weren’t needed for anything from the moment they got here. The only thing the National Guard was doing was heavily “protecting” the rich/white neighborhoods of Inner Harbor/Harbor East/Fed Hill from “those people,” and making the rich people feel better. It was only ever about “protecting” a certain type of city residents.