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Protesters in Hampden break curfew (for a few minutes) to make a point

Protesters in Hampden break curfew (for a few minutes) to make a point
Police form a line at 33rd Street and Keswick Road in Hampden (Kevin Rector)

A group of about 50 mostly white protesters stood on a corner in Hampden on Saturday just as the citywide 10 p.m. curfew went into effect because, they said, they knew they'd be treated differently than black protesters in poorer parts of the city.

The organizers of the event — which took place at the corner of 33rd Street and Keswick Road and was promoted on social media under the hashtag #breakthecurfew — wouldn't give their names.

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"Media: We are not talking. Please reach out to Black led organizing for analysis on racism/white supremacy in Baltimore," a sign read.

Two officers approached the group about 10 minutes before the curfew went into effect and chatted with them about other neighborhood events having gone well and about respecting their First Amendment rights.

One officer said police are "worn out," and want things to "go back to normal" like everyone else.

A protester said the recent protests have been about the fact that what's normal in Baltimore isn't what people want at all, and suggested the officer was "missing the point."

The group was urged to disperse by 10 p.m.

At 10 p.m. the officers returned and the protesters were given a warning.

Five minutes later, they were given another warning as more police began to stage in the area.

"It's five minutes after 10. This is your second warning," police announced.

Most of the protesters left.

About 10:10 p.m., two officers talked to the few remaining protesters and gave them a final warning.

By that point, a wall of dozens of Baltimore Police officers with shields and helmets lined up in formation.

The few protesters looked nervous. The media were told to stand aside. The few protesters dispersed.

Officers were told to stand down soon after.

Nobody was arrested.

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