A week after riots broke out in Baltimore following the funeral for Freddie Gray, the city looks to return to normal. A citywide curfew was lifted and National Guard has begun to withdraw troops.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday lifted the citywide curfew two days earlier then it was set to expire. Many bars and restaurants had complained it hurt businesses, while some residents said it was unevenly enforced. Gov. Larry Hogan said the Maryland National Guard will gradually draw down its presence in the city over the coming days. Soldiers that had been posted at the Inner Harbor left Monday morning.
Protests have been largely celebratory since State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges against all six police officers involved in Gray's arrest. The 25-year-old died April 19, a week after his arrest. Hundreds rejoiced and sang outside City Hall on Sunday, and many residents attended special worship services across the city.
The police department officially handed over the case to Mosby's office last week but will continue to investigate Gray's death, Commissioner Anthony Batts said. The announcement by the city's top prosecutor came as a shock to many in the department.
Crime unrelated to city protests spiked last week, despite the additional police on duty and heavy National Guard presence. Eight homicides and 12 shootings have been reported across the city since Tuesday.
Outside of the city, observers are looking at how the events in Baltimore will play into presidential campaigns. Former Gov. Martin O'Malley said the tensions that erupted into riots last week would be central to his presidential campaign if he decides to run.
Many in the city wonder what might be the long term economic impact to Baltimore after the riots destroyed some businesses, and left many outside the city with a negative image.
Saturday Night Live made light of the unrest in the city and the Orioles game last week when fans were not permitted because of safety concerns.
But with all of the images of looting, police clad in combat gear flashing across TV screens, one "heartwarming" picture of young girl and a national guardsman has gone viral.
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