Baltimore Riots: Protesters defy citywide curfew and police respond

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BALTIMORE, Md. (ABC News) Protesters defied a citywide curfew in Baltimore tonight, and police eventually responded by using smoke canisters and pepper balls in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The curfew was implemented after a day of riots followed Monday’s funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal injury apparently suffered in police custody.

After appeals to disperse as the 10 p.m. curfew began, including one on the ground from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and others in the air from police choppers, the police line slowly moved forward, but to no avail.

The crowd defying the curfew appeared to be much smaller than the ones out earlier today and, at times, it seemed the media may have outnumbered the residents. But there was a small contingent that refused to move and when they started throwing objects, including water bottles and bricks, police responded.

Police earlier used bullhorns as a reminder for the curfew, which was to last until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Police said certain exceptions would be allowed, including for going to and from work and medical emergencies.

The 10 p.m. curfews are to continue for one week, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, and could be extended, as necessary. A 9 p.m. curfew was already in effect for children 14 and younger.

Some 2,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to the city after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency.
The riots began Monday afternoon shortly after the funeral of Gray, and resulted in more than 250 arrests and injuries to at least 20 police officers Monday night into Tuesday. They began after a week of peaceful protests.

President Obama today said there was “no excuse” for the violence, looting and arson.

“They’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities,” he said in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Public schools in Baltimore were scheduled to reopen Wednesday after being closed today. The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox were scheduled play Wednesday, although Camden Yards was to be closed to spectators.

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