Thousands of Baltimore residents surrounded City Hill and continued to protest the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American injured in police custody and the protests spread into New York City. Protesters were seen gathered in Union Square. Baltimore demonstrators lined city blocks waving signs fighting for justice for Freddie Gray. News outlets reported that protests calmed down in Baltimore but a few dozen people were arrested by 8 p.m. Wednesday night, including two juveniles.
In New York protesters gathered at Union Square shouting “no justice, no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot.” New York Police Department officers patrolled the area while a police helicopter patrolled the area from the air. Police officers warned the protesters that they would be arrested if they protested in the street. NYPD reported that a group in support of the protesters shut down the outbound Holland Tunnel, the West Side Highway and several other key city streets. The outbound side of the tunnel was shut down as Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police blocked the entrance. Protesters came face to face with NYPD officers in riot gear between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
Tuesday night, Baltimore residents hurled objects at police and officers responded by firing smoke canisters and pepper pellets into the group. The latest round of protests come days before investigators are scheduled to release their findings to prosecutors. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended with pay pending the investigation, which could result in criminal charges. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s spokeswoman Cheryl Stewart announced that the findings will not be made public. The report will be delivered to Maryland’s state attorney’s office and decide whether to charge anyone in the death of Freddie Gray’s death.
The misconception is that this report will be released publicly and it will not be,” “We just want to make it clear that releasing too much information could be harmful to the investigation and to justice.” “Everybody is pinning on Friday like this is going to a big verdict or something and that’s not going to happen,” Stewart said. “I understand people want the details. But giving it to the public could jeopardize whether charges will be brought.”
Protests in Maryland may have calmed down but the city was still far from normal. National Guard was still deployed within the city limits. The Baltimore Orioles won their game against the Chicago White Sox in an empty stadium where fans were not allowed to watch. Dozens of protesters who were arrested for protesting this week were released because Baltimore Police Department could not complete their paperwork in time, according to Maryland’s public defender’s office. More than a 100 walked free without charges. Democrat Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings walked the streets encouraging people “Let’s go home.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded to the video of the Baltimore woman who chased her son away from attacking police on Monday saying it is “a powerful expression about the role that parents can play.” “The thing that resonated with me is — was her expression that she was concerned about her son facing the same fate as Freddie Gray,” spokesman Josh Earnest said. “And while I’m sure that it was not the immediate reaction of her son to feel like she was looking out for his best interest, there is no doubting that her reaction was one that was rooted in her concern for his safety and his well-being and her love for her child.” Outside of New York and Baltimore, protests stretched to Washington D.C., Chicago, and Minneapolis; rallies are planned near Boston and Cincinnati.