As angry crowds took to the streets in Ferguson, Mo., and around the country Monday night to protest the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager, Baltimore was quiet — though several rallies were planned for Tuesday.
Baltimore police said they had heard of no rallies Monday night and did not respond to any violent incidents related to Ferguson protests locally. Department officials and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said they would ensure protesters would be allowed to demonstrate peacefully.
The Rev. Cortly "C.D." Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he would lead a demonstration at McKeldin Square near the Inner Harbor at 4 p.m.
And a group known as Bmore Bloc is planning a march starting at City Hall at 6 p.m. That group has been seeking changes to legal protections granted to Baltimore police accused of misconduct and a requirement that officers wear body cameras.
Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said police have made plans to make sure demonstrators, motorists and bystanders are safe, though he declined to provide specific details. Bike rack fencing ringed City Hall on Monday, but officials would not say if that was in preparation for demonstrations.
Rodriguez said he expects peaceful rallies and that he's "proud" to have witnessed the civility police and protesters have shown each other in other demonstrations this year.
"My job is to protect the First Amendment rights of all who attempt to gather," Rodriguez said. "We are always deployed a manner where we help the residents express their rights."
"The city should rest safe that we're here to fulfill whatever it is that folks need to do to express their support," Rodriguez said.
Rawlings-Blake took to social media to pledge police reform and increased accountablity in the city. She echoed President Barack Obama and the Brown family by asking that any demonstrations be nonviolent.
The mayor wrote on Twitter: "While I undrstand the frustration by Ferguson decision, it's best to honor Michael Brown thru peaceful protest & constructive dialogue."
The Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called the decision not to indict Wilson "a grave miscarriage of justice."
"[It] saddens me because the message sent is that the life of a black child has little to no value," local chapter President Tessa Hill-Aston said in a statement.
Baltimore Sun reporters Ian Duncan, Justin George and Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.