BALTIMORE (AP) — Thousands of people hit the streets in Baltimore and several other cities, from Boston and New York to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police and to demand reforms to police procedures.
While protests of the death of Freddie Gray were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and at least 60 in New York. Gray, of Baltimore, was critically injured in police custody and died earlier this month.
After meeting with faith leaders and a lawyer for the Gray family, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said officials were working hard to make the investigation into Gray’s death transparent and keep the community informed.
Police have said that they will turn over findings from their investigation to the state’s attorney on Friday.
Still, anger and anxiety hung over Baltimore.
In one of the weirdest spectacles in major-league history, the Baltimore Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards on Wednesday was closed to the public for safety reasons.
Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case.
Authorities carefully monitored the rally — teenagers started the violence Monday afternoon, throwing bricks and bottles at officers who had gathered near a major bus transfer point. The situation escalated from there, overwhelming police as protesters set fire to cars and buildings and raided stores.
About 3,000 police and National Guardsmen descended on the city to help keep order. Schools closed Tuesday because of the mayhem, but reopened Wednesday, after the city’s first night of a curfew went off without the widespread violence many had feared.
On Wednesday night, a few minutes after the curfew went into effect, only a couple dozen people were left at the scene of Monday’s rioting.
“We are very proud of what has happened here tonight. We are proud of our city,” U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings said after everyone had gone home.
Earlier in the day, protesters outside the office of Baltimore’s top prosecutor said they supported State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who took office in January and pledged during her campaign to address aggressive police practices.
Once Mosby’s office receives the investigative findings from police on Gray’s death, she will face a decision on whether and how to pursue charges against the six police officers who arrested Gray.
Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols, Juliet Linderman, Matthew Barakat, Tom Foreman Jr., Jessica Gresko, Brian Witte and Jeff Horwitz contributed to this report.
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