Baltimore State Of Emergency Lifted By Governor

Maryland’s governor has lifted a state of emergency for Baltimore more than a week after violence erupted across the city in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.

Baltimore State Of Emergency

Governor Larry Hogan called in some 2,000 National Guard troops in addition to state police to help restore calm after protests spiralled into violence on 27 April.

The Guard troops began pulling out of the city at the weekend after Baltimore’s mayor lifted a citywide curfew.

On Wednesday, Mr Hogan announced that all troops and state police had pulled out of the city and the state of emergency order had been rescinded.

“Last week, Maryland citizens and the entire nation watched as Baltimore was consumed by violence and tragedy,” the governor said in a statement.

“The effort to restore calm and order to Baltimore was incredible and I cannot thank the community leaders, first responders, and all the men and women in uniform enough for the work they did to make it happen.

“Today we are pleased to announce that the city and its residents can begin to heal and rebuild in a peaceful and safe environment.”

Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Wednesday called on federal investigators to look into whether the city’s police force has used a pattern of excessive or discriminatory tactics.

Citing a “fractured relationship between the police and the community”, the mayor announced she had requested the Justice Department probe despite allegations of misconduct against police declining in recent years.

We cannot be timid in addressing this problem and I am a mayor that does not shy away from our city’s big challenges,” Ms Rawlings-Blake said.

A spokesperson for US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who visited Baltimore on Tuesday, said the Justice Department was “actively considering” the mayor’s request.

A federal investigation would be similar to one conducted by the department in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer.

Mr Hogan, who was critical of Ms Rawlings-Blake’s initial response to the riots, said a federal investigation was “probably a step in the right direction”.

Mr Gray’s death on 19 April prompted a string of mostly peaceful protests, but the unrest turned to violence within hours of the 25-year-old’s funeral.

More than 230 people were arrested as rioters looted stores, burned buildings and vehicles and hurled stones and bricks at police.

Six officers involved in Mr Gray’s arrest face charges ranging from second-degree “depraved heart” murder and involuntary manslaughter to misconduct.

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