Baltimore mayor ends curfew a week into street protests

A large crowd takes part in a rally in Baltimore, Maryland May 2, 2015. (Reuters / Lucas Jackson)
The mayor of Baltimore has lifted a city-wide curfew, almost a week after protests began, sparked by yet another death of a black man from the hands of security forces: 25-year-old Freddie Gray died in police custody.

“My goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary. I believe we have reached that point today,” mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced on Twitter.

The curfew had been imposed since Tuesday, and has ordered the city residents to stay at home after 10:00pm.

Last Monday, looting, arson, and street rioting raged in Baltimore, with police responding by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

Scores of arrests were made over the week, with over 3,000 security forces on the ground at the time, backed up by the National Guard.

READ MORE: Baltimore protester wearing ‘F**k the police T-shirt’ gets face full of pepper spray (VIDEO)

After six policemen involved in Gray’s death were arrested, and charges were brought against them, the tensions eased, and the protests went on largely peacefully.

A few arrests were made during the Saturday march, but only due to the demonstrators breaking the curfew.

On April 12, 25-year-old Freddie Gray was hustled into a police van to the Western District police station, from which an ambulance drove Gray to a shock trauma unit. The man died a week later, with 80 percent of his spine severed at the neck, according to his family lawyers.

The latest series of protests are part of the “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations that gripped the nation in the wake of the murders of African Americans at the hands of police in Ferguson, New York, and Cleveland.