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Baltimore Returning to Normal, Troops Withdrawing

  • Victor Beattie

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks at a news conference outside the Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, Maryland, May 3, 2015.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks at a news conference outside the Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, Maryland, May 3, 2015.

The city of Baltimore slowly returned to normal Monday after a citywide curfew ended Sunday after five nights, National Guard troops started to draw down and stores began to reopen.

Baltimore was in turmoil last week after the April 27 funeral for Freddie Gray, an 25-year-old African-American man who died last month while in police custody.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Sunday she did not want to have the curfew in place longer than necessary. "My No. 1 priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health and welfare of Baltimore citizens," she said.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the state of emergency in Baltimore will be lifted once all the 4,000 soldiers and police brought in from other states have left the city.

Curfew criticized

The citywide curfew was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as business owners, especially restaurants whose workers and owners lost thousands in both wages and profits.

On Sunday, demonstrators took advantage of a beautiful spring day to rally peacefully outside City Hall, with man praying for peace.

The neighborhood shopping mall that was looted during last week's riots reopened for the first time Sunday, giving residents badly needed access to a nearby supermarket and department store.

Parts of the city exploded in violence after Gray's funeral a week ago, leaving stores and cars burned, police officers hurt, and more than 400 people arrested, including nearly 50 on the final night of the curfew.

Hogan also said more than 200 businesses were lost to rioting and looting.

Baltimore state's attorney's office charged six officers involved in Gray's arrest, three of them African-American, with crimes ranging from manslaughter to murder. Prosecutors said Gray was arrested for no reason and that officers ignored his pleas for medical help.

The officers have been released on bond. Two are suspended with pay and four are suspended without pay. Court records show a preliminary hearing is scheduled May 27 in Baltimore District Court for Lieutenant Brian Rice, Sergeant Alicia White, and officers Caesar Goodson, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter, The Associated Press reported.

The FBI and Justice Department are conducting separate investigations of Gray's death for potential civil rights violations.

The police union said it will fight the charges.

Some material for this report came from AP.

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