Baltimore City police trying to keep the peace during the ongoing protests. (Erik Hoffman)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday lifted Baltimore’s citywide curfew, effective immediately. The curfew, as originally ordered, was scheduled to last through Tuesday morning. The lift comes after several days of peaceful protests across the city, reports Ryan Sharrow in the Baltimore Business Journal. Businesses across city, standing to lose thousands of dollars due to closing early, also appealed for an end to the curfew.
- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday morning lifted the curfew that has been in place across Baltimore City for five nights, writes Scott Dance for the Sun.
- “Effective immediately, I have rescinded my order instituting a city-wide curfew,” Rawlings-Blake said in a written statement. “My goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary. My No. 1 priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health and welfare of Baltimore citizens.” WBAL-TV reports about the development.
Gov. Larry Hogan says the Maryland National Guard has begun demobilizing the 3,000 troops brought into Baltimore after rioting broke out last week, a process that will take about three days. Hogan said Sunday that the state of emergency won’t be lifted until the last of the National Guard has left. He says he and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke and they agree that it is time to get the community back to normal again. He says lifting the curfew is a good idea, according to WBAL-AM and the Associated Press.
- Gov. Larry Hogan said he continues to focus on keeping the city safe in the wake of criminal charges filed against six Baltimore City Police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
Justin George of the Sun offers an insightful and interesting look into how a Baltimore Police team probed the Freddie Gray injuries in secret since April 13, an investigation that is ongoing. It’s topped by a video with Justin George.
- Here’s a timeline of the events that lead to Gray’s death offered by the State’s Attorney’s office and written up by the AP for publication in the Daily Record.
Investigators believe Freddie Gray suffered serious head injuries while he was in a police transport van, although they have not concluded how the injuries occurred, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. Lynh Bui, Arelis Hernández and Matt Zapotosky report in the Post. The article is topped by a graphic on those charged.
Jean Marbella of the Sun writes that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the driver of the van with second-degree murder and the other officers with offenses that included involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. The officers were taken into custody Friday and released on bail.
Legal experts are divided on whether Mosby over-reached, reacted too early or acted appropriately considering the facts, writes Liz Bowie and Michael Dresser in the Sun.
- Law professor Byron L. Warnken said he was initially “very surprised” that Mosby’s announcement of charges to be brought against police officers involved in the Freddie Gray’s arrest came just a day after she received a copy of the Baltimore Police investigation. However, Warnken said, Mosby’s press conference Friday morning seemed to be an indicator of how thorough her own office’s simultaneous investigation had been, Lauren Kirkwood reports for the Daily Record.
- Baltimore-area criminal defense lawyers had a variety of reactions to Mosby’s decision Friday to bring charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. But they were unanimous in what they would do first if they were representing them: seek a change of venue, Danny Jacobs reports the Daily Record.
- In a surprisingly measured column for Red Maryland, conservative columnist Greg Kline writes that conservative knee jerk reactions to these indictments are ill-advised. Let’s allow the legal process to play out, criticize any lack of due process, acknowledge the presumption of innocence, view all the evidence critically and be open to the idea that there are no “white hats” in this case.”
- U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said Sunday he was “comfortable” with State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to charge six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. The Baltimore Democrat discussed Gray’s death, the city’s response and Mosby’s decision during an appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, writes Quinn Kelly in the Sun.
Jackie Northam of National Public Radio profiles Marilyn Mosby, a mother of two daughters who comes from five generations of law enforcement officials, including her mother and father, aunts and uncles. Her grandfather was a founding member of the first association for black police officers in Massachusetts.
- The Washington Post profiles Mosby, saying her “16-minute statement suddenly made her a star on television and social media, a champion to those who have demanded justice for Gray and a source of outrage to police, who questioned the swiftness of her decision and her motives for bypassing a grand jury.”
A Baltimore judge is expected to rule this morning on whether the city must release from custody people who were arrested during last week’s riots and held more than 24 hours before seeing a district court commissioner, reports Steve Lash for the Daily Record.
Columnist Barry Rascovar writes in MaryandReporter.com that the roots of this civil unrest in Baltimore City will be analyzed for decades. One obvious flash point could become a bone of contention in the Democratic presidential campaign. Another could dominate next year’s election for mayor. History may record that both Martin O’Malley and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayors past and present, bear partial responsibility for what went wrong in Baltimore over the last week.
- The editorial board for the Daily Record opines: We have a toxic mix of conditions right now in Baltimore. Many residents mistrust the criminal justice and corrections system, seeing it as hostile if not downright predatory. A deeply entrenched economic and public health inequality has only grown more extreme in recent years, and the city’s educational system, in too many places, is mired in failure.
- Jessica Land, a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a lifelong Baltimore resident, writes, in a column for the Salisbury Daily Times, what it was like to safely grow up in a Baltimore neighborhood that was a ticking timebomb.
Baltimore Magazine rounds up a bunch of photos from everywhere about what was happening in Baltimore during the lengthy peaceful times during the past week.
For the May 11 issue of the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb writes about racism and Baltimore, saying “we have grown adroit at feigning astonishment at the episodic convulsions of violence in American cities, but that doesn’t make them any less predictable or their roots any less apparent.”
Here’s the best two minutes of Meet the Press, where the main topic the unrest in Baltimore with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and former Mayor Martin O’Malley — and of course speculation on whether he will run for president now.
- Pushing back against criticism of his own policing strategies in Baltimore, former Gov. Martin O’Malley said the tensions that erupted into riots last week would be central to his presidential campaign if he decides to run. He was speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press.
- O’Malley said Sunday that he will announce his presidential campaign in riot-scarred Baltimore if he moves forward with a White House bid. “I wouldn’t think of announcing anyplace else,” O’Malley, the city’s former mayor, said on MTP, writes John Wagner in the Post.
While the FOP was claiming that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby had a conflict of interest, it and David Zurawik, media columnist for the Sun, also point to WBAL-TV’s investigative reporter Jayne Miller, who is in a personal and insider relationship with the top prosecutor in Mosby’s office.