BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Developing Story

Last updated on May 6, 2015, at 12:07 p.m. ET

Posted on May 2, 2015, at 12:35 p.m. ET

Baltimore Mayor Calls For DOJ Investigation Of The City's Police Department

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also said on Wednesday that all police officers will have body cameras by 2016.

A mural of Freddie Gray is painted on the side of a building in Baltimore.
David Goldman/Associated Press

A mural of Freddie Gray is painted on the side of a building in Baltimore.

Here's The Latest:

  • Freddie Gray died April 19 from a spinal cord injury he suffered while under arrest a week before, sparking widespread protests.
  • On May 1, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against six police officers in Gray's death. The charges included murder in the second degree and manslaughter.
  • Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Wednesday she is asking the Department of Justice to investigate the practices of the city's police department.
  • Rawlings-Blake also said Wednesday all Baltimore officers will have body cameras by 2016.
  • On Wednesday, Governor Hogan rescinded the state of emergency in the city.


Posted at

Gov. Larry Hogan lifts State of Emergency in Baltimore.

Hogan said as of Wednesday morning all National Guard, state police, and other police have left the city.

The State of Emergency order went into effect on April 27 as rioting was taking place in the city. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake lifted a 10 p.m.–5 a.m. curfew in the city on Sunday.

Gov Hogan: I have rescinded the executive order establishing a state of emergency. #MDUnites #OneBaltimore #Baltimore

Posted at

Prince is set to perform at a Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore on May 10.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Prince announces special RALLY 4 PEACE concert at the Arena THIS Sunday! Tix on sale tomorrow @ 5p

Posted at

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for a Department of Justice investigation into the patterns and practices of the Baltimore Police Department and announced that all officers will have body cameras by 2016.

Rawlings-Blake said she is asking the DOJ to conduct a civil rights investigation into the police department's patterns and practices of stops, searches, and arrests that may violate the Fourth Amendment.

She said the goal was to find the systemic issues in the police department that contribute to excessive force and discriminatory policing.

"At the end of this process I will hold those accountable if change is not made," she said.

In a statement responding to Rawling-Blake's request, DOJ spokesperson Dena Iverson said the attorney general "is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials, and community, faith, and youth leaders in Baltimore yesterday."

Posted at

One of the officers charged in the Freddie Gray case contradicted prosecutors on Monday, arguing in court that Gray was carrying an illegal knife at the time of this death.

Edward M. Nero

Edward M. Nero

Officer Edward Nero's attorneys filed a motion Monday asking for prosecutors to produce the knife, the Associated Press reported. The motion argues that the knife, which was the reason for Gray's arrest, was illegal under a particular and strict set of Maryland rules.

Excerpt from court motion filed by Officer Edward Nero claiming Freddie Gray's knife was illegal/arrest was lawful

However, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has said the knife was legal.

The question about the knife is significant because it is one of the factors that will determine whether the officers' actions were legal. The issue boils down to exactly what kind of knife it was; Maryland law bans knives that open automatically, and a Baltimore ordinance bans knives that use springs to open, according to the AP.

In Gray's charging documents, the knife is described as "a spring assisted, one hand operated knife."

Mosby, however, has described the knife as a pocket knife, which is legal.

On Tuesday, Mosby issued a statement saying she cannot disclose evidence before a trial. She also condemned "anyone in law enforcement with access to trial evidence, who has or continues to leak information prior to the resolution of this case."

"I refuse to litigate this case through the media," Mosby said.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks to reporters on Friday.
Alex Brandon / AP

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks to reporters on Friday.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday met with Gray's family.

The meeting was part of a tour to meet with leaders in the area, the Baltimore Sun reported. The meeting with Gray's family took place at the University of Baltimore.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, center, speaks with community activists at Baltimore University on Tuesday.
Jose Luis Magana / AP

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, center, speaks with community activists at Baltimore University on Tuesday.

Posted at

North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield wrote an open letter to the president of the Baltimore police union on Tuesday, chastising him for his "inflammatory" call for a special prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case.

Congressman @GKButterfield sent a powerful letter rebuking the dangerous rhetoric of @BaltimorePolice Union @FOP3

Posted at

Freddie Gray's family spoke with NBC Nightly News' Lester Holt about the charges filed against the Baltimore police officers involved in Gray's death.

Holt interviewed the family's attorney, Gray's mother, stepfather, and twin sister.

Holt interviewed the family's attorney, Gray's mother, stepfather, and twin sister.

The family is deeply distraught over Gray's death. Through tears, his mother, Gloria Darden, said, "I got a hole... I wish it didn't ever — it had never happened. And I will never be the same. I will never be the same."

His twin sister, Fredricka Gray, said of losing her brother, "I can't sleep at night some nights. I cry. Like, I really miss him. The pain, I feel like it's unbearable."

Gray's stepfather, Richard Shipley, said he was "shocked" that charges were filed so quickly, but "I was really happy it turned out this way."

"Maybe it'll change laws," Shipley said. "Or maybe Freddie will be a martyr and his name will live on forever, and that makes us very proud."

Holt also asked Shipley about the violence in Baltimore. "I was so hurt and ashamed that they were apparently attempting to use it in the name of Freddie," he replied. "And I was very discouraged with that. Very discouraged. … Even though it was a tragic situation, we must protest and raise our voices in a peaceful manner."

Posted at
President Obama speaks at Lehman College on Monday.
Richard Drew / AP

President Obama speaks at Lehman College on Monday.

President Obama on Monday said the key to preventing another Baltimore riot from happening is by making sure at-risk youths have better economic and educational opportunities.

Speaking at an event hosted by the nonprofit MBK Alliance, Obama called on the private sector to work with the government to mentor at-risk youths in low-income neighborhoods where lack of resources can lead to the sort of unrest that overtook Baltimore last week.

"They're potentially part of the solution if we treat them as such," he said.

It will take a concerted, sustained effort to turn the tide of disenfranchisement among at-risk youths, he said, but added that "we won't get there if kids in Baltimore … believe their lives are worth less."

"Really what this comes to is, do we love these kids?" Obama said.

Instead of responding to every calamity with a round of navel gazing and empty promises — only to have those efforts fade after the television cameras leave — Obama said it would take a long-term commitment by all stakeholders, not just the government.

He used the address to tout the efforts of My Brother's Keeper, a nonprofit that works with businesses and communities to implement so-called cradle-to-college-and-career strategies.

He also had a message for disaffected youths, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, across the U.S.

"I want you to know you matter, you matter to us, you matter to each other," Obama said. "We are one people and we need each other."

Posted at

In the last week, 113 police officers have been injured and 486 people have been arrested related to protests, Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said.

Fox 45 / Via

On Saturday night, 46 people were arrested, including four juveniles, Kowalczyk said.

He thanked protesters for being peaceful in recent days and added the city's police department is no longer on tactical alert.

"That is the Baltimore we know... We're thankful the peace continued through the weekend," he said.

Though protests have been largely peaceful, the city has also seen 18 unrelated shootings in recent days. Kowalczyk did not answer a question of why Baltimore has experienced an uptick in gun violence.

"I don't want to speculate about why the number is what it is," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to stop the violence."

Police would continue to evaluate events in the city and respond accordingly, he said. One reporter asked if curfew violations had been enforced differently in black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods.

"Where we have the largest amounts of people, we'll shift the largest amount of resources," Kowalczyk said.

Posted at

Baltimore residents gathered in prayer on Sunday at church services around the city as well as an interfaith rally outside City Hall.

Empowerment Temple worship team singing at today's interfaith rally at City Hall.

Gov. Larry Hogan had called for Sunday to be a statewide "day of prayer and peace."

More than 100 out here singing "Freedom!" at #Baltimore City Hall

Some local businesses also planned to celebrate the end of Baltimore's 10 p.m. curfew on Sunday night, the Baltimore City Paper reported.

Jimmy's Famous Seafood said they would offer a free beer at 10:01 p.m.

Posted at

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Sunday she was lifting the city-wide curfew.

Effective immediately, I have rescinded my order instituting a city-wide curfew. I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their patience.

She added: "My goal has always been to not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary. I believe we have reached that point today."

Posted at

An Associated Press video from Saturday night showed numerous arrests, as well as police firing pepper spray at some protesters.

View this video on YouTube

Images from the scene also showed some of the arrests, as well as people who were hit with the pepper spray.

A woman looks out from the back of a police van after being arrested Saturday.
David Goldman / AP

A woman looks out from the back of a police van after being arrested Saturday.

A man lays on the ground after he was arrested and hit with pepper spray Saturday.
David Goldman / AP

A man lays on the ground after he was arrested and hit with pepper spray Saturday.

A man is loaded into an ambulance after getting arrested and hit with pepper spray.
David Goldman / AP

A man is loaded into an ambulance after getting arrested and hit with pepper spray.

Also Saturday, a group of mostly white protesters intentionally broke Baltimore's curfew, The Baltimore Sun reported. The demonstration took place in Hampden, a neighborhood in the northern part of the city. According to the Sun, participants were attempting to prove that they are treated differently from black protesters in poorer areas.

There were no arrests at that demonstration, the Sun reported.

Posted at

Shortly after curfew went into effect Saturday, there were reports of a handful of arrests in Baltimore, as well as at least one person pepper sprayed by officers.

Reporters at the scene described bottles being thrown as well.

A heavy police presence continued when the curfew went into effect, with officers in riot gear and announcements being made about the 10 p.m. curfew.

The arrests appear to have occurred near Pennsylvania and W. North Avenue, a popular site for protestors on previous days.

BREAKING: Multiple arrests at Pennsylvania and W. North ave. #BaltimoreUprising

Police spray shouting man in face at close range, then drag him 2 ground by his hair #Baltimore

#Baltimore man pinned down as protesters throw a few bottles & police spray more ppl

Posted at

The decision to charge the six officers involved in Freddie Gray's death surprised the team tasked with investigating the case, The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.

The Sun had exclusive access to the team of investigators looking into Gray's death and on Saturday published an account of their work. The report details the various teams and tactics used to trace Gray's movements before and after his arrest. Among other things, investigators in particular tried to understand why Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., stopped while driving the police van that was carrying Gray.

But one of the most noteworthy things about the report was the revelation that investigators were taken by surprise when Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges against the officers. According to the Sun, the investigators turned over their findings to Mosby on Thursday. She announced the charges Friday.

The six officers were subsequently booking into jail and bonded out Friday.

Posted at

As protests continued Saturday in Baltimore, police announced the curfew would again go into effect over night.

CBS Baltimore / Via

During a brief news conference, Batts noted there have been "four nights of peace" in Baltimore, but that "tonight we see some of the same people in Baltimore that were here last Monday."

Monday was the most violent day of protests as demonstrators clashed with police. Several buildings also burned that night.

In the streets, some of the protests Saturday afternoon took on an air of celebration, according to reporters at the scene.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Positive party mood here on Pennsylvania Ave West #Baltimore. Saturday night

Should go w/o saying but...this is entirely a peaceful demonstration. Almost feels more like a block party. No one is tripping about traffic

David Goldman / AP

As the sun goes down, the North/Carey dance party's not stopping.

David Goldman / AP

Meanwhile, another protest took place in Ferguson Saturday afternoon.

Protesters heading to #Ferguson QuikTrip site: "All night all day we're doing this for Freddie Gray." #BlackSpring

Posted at

Demonstrators on Friday evening began to move from City Hall, westbound on Lafayette Avenue.

The movement began after members of the Bloods, Crips, and other gangs spoke to the crowd, pledging to stop fighting among themselves and and instead make it their mission to protect at-risk families in Baltimore.

Posted at

The final speaker Malik Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, addressed the crowd Friday afternoon.
Posted at

Members of the group Mothers Against Police Brutality spoke about their own sons who were killed by police officers.

"You have the right mothers, but you shot the wrong sons," one mother said.

The group announced plans to organize a "Mothers for Justice" rally on Mother's Day, May 10.

Posted at

The majority of the hundreds of marching demonstrators have gathered outside city hall for what is now being called a "victory rally" instead of a "rally for justice."

A different angle of the rally at city hall on this beautiful day.

Posted at

The National Guard, police in riot gear, and state troopers surround the march, which to this point has remained peaceful.
Posted at

Hundreds of demonstrators converged in Baltimore on Saturday for a march to city hall.

Roughly 150 holding the intersection of Pennsylvania&North: "What happened in Baltimore is not an isolated incident."

Thousands were expected to eventually turn out for the demonstration, which was organized to call for justice in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died April 19 from a spinal cord injury he suffered during his arrest.

Six Baltimore police officers have since been charged in connection with Gray's death — news that was celebrated Friday when it was announced.

"No justice. No peace." The march begins to city hall.

The mood on the ground as demonstrators left Gray's neighborhood and headed toward city hall was reported as jubilant and celebratory. Still, authorities reminded demonstrators that a 10 p.m. curfew remained in effect through the weekend.

More than 50 protesters were arrested overnight in Baltimore after defying the curfew, police reported.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Support our journalism

Help BuzzFeed News reporters expose injustices and keep quality news free.