Police Enforce Curfew in Baltimore, Disperse Protesters
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - 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 pm EDT (0200 GMT Wednesday) and goes until 5 am all week.
But a few hundred people defied authorities, gathering at an intersection that was the scene of heavy looting in the largely black city a night earlier.
Police broke up the group using rubber bullets and projectiles with pepper spray chemical irritant, and arrested seven people. Three more were arrested elsewhere in the city.
Baltimore erupted in violence on Monday hours after the funeral for a black man who died April 19 after he was injured in police custody a week earlier.
The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray has renewed a national debate on law enforcement and race that was sparked by police killing unarmed black men last year in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City and elsewhere.
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.
On Monday, shops were looted, 19 buildings were set on fire, 20 officers were injured and police arrested more than 250 people in the city just 40 miles (64 km) from the nation's capital in Washington.