Published On: Wed, Apr 29th, 2015

Baltimore Police Enforce Curfew

Police fired gas to enforce a curfew on the streets of Baltimore, a night after violence and arson rocked the city.After an evening of largely peaceful protests, a few hundred people defied the deadline of 2200 (0300 BST).

Baltimore police enforce curfew

But in the face of thousands of troops on the city streets, the remaining crowds later dispersed and police said the curfew was working.

The protests have gone on daily since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody on 19 April.

His death is the latest in a string of high-profile cases where black men have died after contact with the police.

There was an outbreak of violence after his funeral on Monday but a different atmosphere characterised the streets the following night.

The BBC’s Tara McKelvey, at East Lexington and North Gay Street, said there was a “street party” feel with music and car horns sounding.

Two hours after the start of the curfew, which runs from 2200 to 0500, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said it was working well.

There were “no major issues” and only 10 arrests, he said.

A few individuals threw bottles and gas canisters at police but there were no major clashes.

The National Guard had been sent to Baltimore to stop unrest for the first time since 1968, when some of the city’s neighbourhoods went up in flames after the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

City leaders and pastors had urged calm on Tuesday, after about 200 people were arrested the previous night as more than 100 cars were set alight and 15 buildings destroyed.

A mother who was filmed smacking her rioting son, instantly becoming an overnight celebrity, has spoken out about her widely praised actions.

“He knew he was in trouble,” Toya Graham told Dailyreleased News. “I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, knows I don’t play that.”

Earlier on Tuesday, President Barack Obama harshly criticised the perpetrators of “senseless violence and destruction”.

But he described the issues behind the protests – the use of force by police against African American men – as a “slow-rolling crisis”.

The person hoping to follow him in the White House, fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, also spoke out, calling it “heartbreaking”.

“We have to restore order and security,” she told a fundraising event in New York. “But then we have to take a hard look as to what we need to do to reform our system.”

Gray, 25, died after suffering unexplained injuries to his spinal cord and spending a week in a coma.

Officials have suspended six police officers who were involved in the case, and an internal review will publish its findings later this week.