Baltimore headed into a weekend of rallies on Saturday after six police officers were charged for the arrest of a 25-year-old black man, who died in a hospital after being assaulted by police and taken away in a police van. Whose death led to rioting earlier in the week. Reuters described the mood as “jubilant.”
Demonstrations are expected to continue around the United States through the weekend, and a massive rally is planned for Baltimore city hall with marchers leaving from the Gilmor Homes housing projects where the victim, Freddie Gray, was arrested.
Many in the largely black city erupted with joy on Friday after the officers were charged with crimes ranging from murder to assault and misconduct in Gray’s death on April 19th from severe spinal injuries while under police custody at a hospital.
Baltimore has largely followed the 10 p.m. curfew put in place after unrest that broke out after Gray’s funeral. Dozens of buildings and vehicles were burned, 20 police officers were injured and more than 200 people were arrested in that unrest.
U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, who represents the area where Gray died and has worked to calm Baltimore’s streets the past four nights, said he was glad to see charges filed.
“It feels good, it’s a relief,” he said. “They have to let it play out. It will take time. But so often there are no charges and the process never begins.”