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Protesters block traffic on East Pratt Street in downtown Baltimore Saturday
Protesters block traffic on East Pratt Street in downtown Baltimore Saturday (Jessica Anderson)

Protesters marched in downtown Baltimore for a second straight night Saturday following the shooting deaths of two black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota this past week.

Saturday's protest was considerably smaller than the one Friday, which drew about 200 people chanting and carrying placards decrying the police shootings.

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Protesters blocked traffic on E. Pratt Street near the Inner Harbor, and police set up barricades in front of department headquarters nearby on E. Baltimore Street. The protesters carried cardboard signs that read, "Black Lives Matter" and "Am I next?" Several young children marched alongside their parents or on theirs shoulders.

As the group marched up President Street, toward the entrance to Interstate 83, onlookers from the nearby Fairfield Inn and Suites sipped on glasses of white wine while watching the group march by and chant. The protest was peaceful but the mood grew tense outside police headquarters where officers kept people from walking into the street to allow traffic to pass, while the protesters linked arms along a line of police officers.

During one stop, a man yelled at officers, "I have never ever met a good police officer" and several obscenities.

The group then marched west through downtown. Some cars honked their horns in support, while people held their fists out the window in solidarity. Many people the protesters passed appeared to be leaving the Orioles game, including a group of Camden Yards employees waiting for a bus.

Many protesters recorded police with their cellphones as they passed.

The group walked to Martin Luther King Boulevard, closing the street temporarily. By about 9:30 p.m. officers continued to walk with a handful of protesters but the group had mostly broken up.

Friday's protest briefly shut down traffic coming into the city from Interstate 83. Baltimore police said four people were arrested for blocking streets and refusing to move.

"Outside of that, the protesters have been peaceful and the protest organizers have been helpful," police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said in a statement Friday night.

Those arrested Friday were: Cody Kradz, 26, of Catonsville; Megan Flynn, 32, of Tacoma Park; Perry Wheeler, 31 of Laurel; and Sarah Benjamin, 25, of Baltimore. They were charged with disorderly conduct, loitering, and other various charges, police said.

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