World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of police in riot gear and National Guard troops patrolled Baltimore to enforce a curfew on Tuesday night, dispersing protesters with pepper spray a day after the city was shaken by the worst rioting in the United States in years.
With helicopters overhead and armored vehicles on the ground, most people respected a curfew that started at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT Wednesday) and goes until 5 a.m. all week.
Just ahead of the curfew, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake went to the intersection where protesters had gathered and pleaded with them to go home.
"Let's take our babies home and abide by the curfew. I want to thank you for understanding that we want to bring peace," Rawlings-Blake said through a megaphone.
Baltimore saw scenes of reconciliation, cleanup and even celebration, as well as continued protest on Tuesday.
Groups of demonstrators marched and chanted "Black Lives Matter," one of the anthems of a national movement against police use of lethal force, which is used disproportionately against minorities.
Near a looted and burned-out CVS pharmacy, hundreds of people waved flags and swayed in the street as they watched 50 dancers gyrating to the drumming of a unity band put together for the evening from music groups from all over the city.
"It feels good to see everyone coming together. People just enjoying themselves," said Roxanne Gaither, 45. "This is what Freddie Gray would have wanted to see. Last night was terrible if a curfew is what it takes to avoid that, so be it."
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, were widely criticized last year for an aggressive, militarized response to demonstrations and rioting after a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager.
On Tuesday Baltimore's mayor responded to critics who said she waited too long to act.
"It's a very delicate balancing act, when we have to make sure that we're managing but not increasing and escalating the problem," said Rawlings-Blake, 45, an African-American and Democrat who grew up in the city.Last Mod: 29 Nisan 2015, 11:18