Schools in Baltimore are beginning to reopen as the city looks to return to normal after peace has been restored in the streets following violent protests that occurred after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died from a spinal cord injury he sustained while in police custody.
A curfew had been placed on the city in an effort to put a stop to the looting and arson that had been occurring across the city. About 3,000 police and National Guardsmen took to the streets to ensure it remained peaceful with no disturbance reports the following morning.
According to Baltimore’s school system, all schools in the city are now open and after-school sports and other activities have resumed as well. The riots on Monday began as high school students were released for the day.
Baltimore Public Schools CEO Gregory Thornton sent a letter to the city school community thanking those students who avoided the violence and law-breaking, and making it known that the students who did take part would be held accountable.
Despite an end to the riots, activists remain adamant that they will demand answers in determining what happened to Gray, as the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear.
The first night of curfew did not go well, as about 200 protestors chose to ignore the order, with some of them throwing water bottles or laying on the ground. Tear gas and pepper spray were launched at the crowds by a line of police officers behind riot shields, and the protestors dispersed within minutes.
Two people were arrested for looting, one for disorderly conduct, and seven for curfew violation.
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.”
While making an appearance on The Steve Harvey Morning Show, President Barack Obama touched on the riots, saying that their occurrence signaled that police departments need to work on their relationship with black communities, calling on police “to hold accountable people when they do something wrong.”
The protests came two days before police investigators were set to hand over their findings in the case to State Attorney Marily Mosby. It was unclear when they were planning on releasing the findings.
The six police officers who were allegedly involved in the incident have been suspended with pay by the Baltimore Police Department.