Across the Country, Protesters Rally in Solidarity With Baltimore

While protests of the death of Gray were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and more than 100 in New York.

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.

In New York, protesters rallied at Manhattan's Union Square, where they chanted "no justice, no peace" and "hands up, don't shoot," a reference to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

Activists gathered in a park behind police headquarters in the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston and continued with a peaceful march to a park at Dudley Square. Nikea Ramsey, whose brother Burrell Ramsey-White was shot and killed in an encounter with Boston police in 2012, said, "Me and my family, we stand with Baltimore. We stand with Ferguson."

In Philadelphia, protesters plan to conduct the "Philly is Baltimore" demonstration Thursday afternoon at city hall. They've drawn parallels between the death of a local man shot during a traffic stop and the April 19 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

While protests of the death of Gray were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and more than 100 in New York. 

Demonstrators also returned to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a day after looting, fires and gunfire broke out during protests over the death of 25-year-old Gray.

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.

Baltimore police say they chased Gray when he fled at the sight of an officer in a drug-infested neighborhood this month. Officers pinned him to the sidewalk and then lifted him and took him, his legs dragging on the ground, to a police van.

His arrest was recorded on cellphone videos by bystanders.

Gray, who asked repeatedly for medical help during the half-hour ride to a police station, died a week later.

Police say Gray died of a "significant spinal injury." An attorney for Gray's family says his spine was "80 percent severed in the neck area."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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