Schools reopened and tensions seemed to ease Wednesday after the U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland made it through the first night of its curfew without the widespread violence many had feared.
With 3,000 police and National Guardsmen trying to keep the peace and prevent a repeat of the looting and arson that erupted on Monday, the citywide, 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew ended with no reports of disturbances in the early morning hours.
Baltimore’s school system said all schools would be open and after-school sports and other activities would also take place.
But life was unlikely to get completely back to normal anytime soon: The curfew was set to go back into effect at 10 p.m. And baseball officials — in what promised to one of the weirdest spectacles in major-league history — announced that Wednesday’s Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards would be closed to the public for safety reasons.
Activists stressed that they will continue to press for answers in the case of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man whose death from a spinal-cord injury under mysterious circumstances while in police custody set off Monday’s riots.
A group of pastors announced plans to hold a rally and prayer vigil for the city and Gray’s family at noon.
The curfew got off to a not-so-promising start Thursday night, as about 200 protesters ignored the warnings of police and the pleas of pastors and other community activists to disperse. Some threw water bottles or lay down on the ground.
A line of officers behind riot shields hurled tear gas canisters and fired pepper balls at the crowd and slowly advanced to push it back. Demonstrators picked up the canisters and flung them back at officers. But the crowd rapidly dispersed in a matter of minutes.
Just before midnight Tuesday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts declared the curfew a success.
“We do not have a lot of active movement throughout the city as a whole. … Tonight I think the biggest thing is the citizens are safe, the city is stable,” he said. “We hope to maintain it that way.”
Batts said 10 people were arrested soon after the curfew went into effect: two for looting, one for disorderly conduct, and seven for violating the curfew.
In an interview broadcast Wednesday on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” President Barack Obama said the riots show that police departments need to build more trust in black communities.
He called on police departments “to hold accountable people when they do something wrong” and said Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reaching out to mayors about retraining police and providing body cameras.
He also said underlying problems such as poor education, drugs and limited job opportunities must be addressed.
Story by the Associated Press
Call for more youth entrepreneurs as businesses recover
Many businesses have paid the cost of some of the worst rioting Baltimore has ever seen. But, in the midst of this violence, some entrepreneurs are trying to show that investing in young people may be the key to making these troubled areas thrive with business opportunities. CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough filed this report.
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Socio-economic tensions influence youth riots globally
Baltimore is one of many cities around the world where youth in undeserved communities are venting their frustrations. But when the smoke clears, these underserved communities still face the underlying issues breeding discontent. CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo filed this report from Washington, D.C.
Socio-economic tensions influence youth riots globallyBaltimore is one of many cities around the world where youth in undeserved communities are venting their frustrations. But when the smoke clears, these underserved communities still face the underlying issues breeding discontent. CCTV America's Rachelle Akuffo filed this report from Washington, D.C.
- In 2011, what started as peaceful protests in London over the police shooting of black 29 year- old Mark Duggan quickly escalated.
- In 2013, youth riots spread across Stockholm suburbs as tensions with poorer immigrant communities exposed growing socio-economic division.
- In Soweto, South Africa this year, a teen was shot after allegedly robbing a store owned by a foreign national. Stores were looted. Anti-foreigner sentiment turned brutal – and in some cases, fatal. Some experts believe poverty stemming from apartheid is adding to socio-economic tensions there.