BALTIMORE (AP) — Six days after the death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in Baltimore, the city’s mayor lifted a citywide curfew on Sunday morning, signaling an end to the extraordinary measures taken to ensure public safety amid an outcry over police practices.
The order for residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. had been in place since Tuesday, and officials had planned to maintain it through Monday morning. Protests since Monday’s riots have been peaceful, and Friday’s announcement of charges against six officers involved in Gray’s arrest eased tensions.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement that she didn’t want the curfew to continue any longer than necessary.
“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.”
In a press conference Sunday she thanked the faith-based leaders for helping to keep the calm in the community.
“Words are insufficient to describe my gratitude,” she said.
Gray died after suffering a broken neck while inside a police van. On Friday, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed charges against the six officers involved in his arrest, transport and fatal injury. The officers face charges ranging from manslaughter to second-degree murder.
Mosby, who deemed the death a homicide, said Gray’s neck was broken because he was placed head-first into a police van while in handcuffs and later leg shackles where he was left to slam against the walls of the small metal compartment. Police said the officers who arrested Gray ignored his cries for help because they thought he was faking his injuries. He was repeatedly denied medical attention.