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Troops deployed as Baltimore declares week-long curfew after riots


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Troops deployed as Baltimore declares week-long curfew after riots

A week-long nightly curfew from 10pm to 5am has been announced in the US city of Baltimore after rioting erupted in protest at the death of a black man in police custody.

Thousands of troops and soldiers from outside the city have been deployed.

Much of the violence happened in a poor area, parts of which had not been rebuilt since riots back in the 1960s.

Volunteers turned out on Tuesday to help clear up the debris.

Schools were closed, as was a shopping centre amid fears that rioters might target it.

Buildings and scores of cars were burned in the violence.

The trouble followed Freddie Gray’s funeral. After spending a week in a coma the 25-year-old died from a spinal injury suffered as police transported him in a van. Six officers have been suspended.

His family have appealed for calm.

“I’m as hurt but I do not want you all to be out here. I want you all to get justice for my son but don’t do it like this here. Don’t tear up the whole city, man. Just for him? It’s wrong,” said Gloria Darden, Freddie Gray’s mother.

LATEST FROM OUR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT STEFAN GROBE

Calm has returned to Baltimore the morning after the worst riots Maryland’s biggest city has seen since the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.

Police forces were patrolling the streets of poor and run-down neighborhoods that are usually controlled by drug gangs, the result of years of negligence and lack of interest. Many buildings are still showing the signs of last night’s violence.

Following these events, the governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency, and a curfew is in place starting at 10pm(0400am CET). Maryland’s attorney general (minister of justice) Brian Frosh hopes that the presence of police and national guard will help calm things down. Speaking to Euronews while assessing the damage, he said the last night was a “terrible legacy” to live with.

People who live along Pennsylvania Avenue and West North Avenue feel scared and angry that their neighborhood was victim of a wave of random violence. Yesterday’s violence erupted after the funeral of a young black man who had died in police custody under circumstances that are still being investigated. The Baltimore case was the latest in a series of police killings of unarmed African Americans that have rocked the country since last summer.

For a week protests had been peaceful.

But Monday’s violence left 27 people injured, including 15 police officers – six seriously. More than 200 people were arrested.

Maryland declared a state of emergency on Monday night as the violence spread from the west to the east of the city.

The local police were criticised for being too lax.

The riots are the most violent the US has seen against police treatment of African Americans since young black man Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri last year.

Amid the protests that followed, police were attacked for being too heavy-handed.

The mayor of Baltimore said it was a delicate balancing act.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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