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University of Baltimore president advises students to avoid unrest after verdict

University of Baltimore President Kurt L. Schmoke sent a message Monday urging students "to be aware of the circumstances in which you find yourself" if protests begin after the verdict in the trial of one of the officers charged in Freddie Gray's death.

Schmoke wrote that while protests were expected to be civil and non-violent, "none of us can predict how others will respond." Thus, he wrote, students should "handle unrest in a non-confrontational manner" and "never proceed into or through demonstrations if they seem to have escalated."

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Schmoke also told students to stay in touch with family and friends about protest plans and to be aware that protests may block traffic.

A Baltimore jury began deliberating Monday on the case of Officer William G. Porter, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment in the death of Gray, who sustained a spinal cord injury in police custody and died a week later. Porter's attorneys argued the officer tried to help Gray and that his actions were reasonable.

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Follow live coverage of the Porter trial here.

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