Now that the death of Freddie Gray has been ruled a homicide, the citizens of Baltimore are hoping riots will subside and things will return back to normal. As part of the attempt to restore the city to peace, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has decided to lift the 10 p.m. Baltimore curfew that she enacted during the height of the protests.
According to the Guardian, Rawlings-Blake removed the curfew today (Sunday, May 3), effective immediately.
“My goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary,” said the mayor. “I believe we have reached that point today.”
Rawlings-Blake originally enacted the curfew as an attempt to quell the hostile interactions citizens were having with law enforcement while protesting the death of a 25-year-old African-American man named Freddie Gray who died while in custody. Outbreaks of violence and looting had become rampant in the city, but the 10 p.m. curfew did little to keep the angry protesters in their homes. Many people have been arrested for violating the Baltimore curfew, as many as 50 people on Saturday night alone.
“My number one priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health and welfare of Baltimore citizens,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It was not an easy decision, but one I felt was necessary to help our city restore calm.”
The mayor received some heat for instating the Baltimore curfew, as well as taking a stance against the Freddie Gray protesters, implying they were criminals and thugs.
According to ABC News, the Maryland Governor Larry Hogan supported the mayor’s decision to lift the Baltimore curfew. He claims the riots have been calming since Freddie Gray’s death was ruled a murder, and there have been no serious issues after curfew since Monday.
“The mayor and I both talked and agreed we think it’s time to get the community back to normal again.”
The worst of the riots erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray, igniting the people with a demand for justice. Freddie Gray is one of several men to have been killed recently by white police officers, including Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The protests as a result of Freddie Gray’s death were similar to the riots that happened in Ferguson, Missouri, after Brown was shot and killed by an officer named Darren Wilson. While Wilson’s killing was ruled lawful, Freddie Gray’s tragic death is one of the first to be ruled a homicide.
“Nobody out here is going to go out here and start any violence because they’re waiting on the trial. They have gotten some justice,” said Malik Shabazz, the president of Black Lawyers for Justice.
For more on the death of Freddie Gray, check out the mysterious surveillance footage that showed the van carrying Freddie Gray make a surprise second stop.
[Image credit: Getty]