Peaceful Rally In Baltimore Celebrates End To Curfew & Calls For A United City — PHOTOS
Somewhat inspired by the "One Baltimore" tagline, citizens came together Sunday to hold a peaceful rally for Baltimore at an interfaith event aimed at uniting the city. Reverend Jamal Bryant, who organized the afternoon rally and delivered the moving eulogy at Freddie Gray's funeral, is hopeful that this event will continue to inspire citizens to take a stand against police brutality. "This is a festival for all of Baltimore," Bryant said. "We're standing together."
A daily Baltimore curfew that was instated following protests against police brutality, specifically regarding the death of Freddie Gray, was lifted earlier Sunday. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake decided to end the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew because she felt it was no longer needed. Rawlings-Blake said in a press conference that her "goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary." She continued:
What we saw over the past few days is not just the resiliency of our city but our communities coming together. We want to heal our city. We know we have challenges in Baltimore. We know that there's work to be done but what you saw in these last few days with the peaceful demonstrations and people coming together to celebrate Baltimore is that we will get better, that we will get through this but we will do this as one Baltimore.
Prior to Sunday's peaceful rally, a peaceful demonstration was held Saturday by the Black Lawyers for Justice, who not only organized protests in Baltimore but inspired protests around the country from New York to Los Angeles. The Saturday rally called for an end to police brutality around the country, a statement that has been echoed in ongoing peaceful protests in the Baltimore area. According to the Associated Press, violent protests were a relative outlier of the demonstrations in Baltimore.
Baltimore Police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk painted a somewhat different picture, stating that 486 arrests have been made in the past week and a half, and that 113 officers have been injured, according to the Associated Press. Of those 486 arrests, 46 people were arrested Saturday night. According to Baltimore Governor Larry Hogan, the state is in the process of demobilizing National Guard troops that were brought in following violent protests on Monday, April 27. In all, 3,000 troops and 150 vehicles will be leaving the metropolitan area over the course of the next few days.