A protester sits in front of riot police minutes before a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10 p.m. near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Md.
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty

Relative calm returns to Baltimore streets

As the 10 p.m. curfew began in Baltimore , there were some skirmishes between local residents and law enforcement, but the night was largely peaceful, especially as compared to the violence seen in much of the city the night before. MSNBC’s Joy Y. Wang had this report overnight:
The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/28/15, 9:11 PM ET

Peaceful protests ahead of Baltimore curfew

NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez joins Rachel Maddow from the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, where peaceful protests have taken place throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening, following a Monday’s night of tension and violence.
After a tense night in a city recently devastated by violence, major intersections in Baltimore were cleared by police officers who advanced on crowds shortly after the city’s 10 p.m. curfew fell Tuesday. Ten arrests were made through the course of Tuesday evening – in contrast to more than 200 arrests stemming from Monday’s violence. Armored National Guard vehicles and phalanx of law enforcement were the primary presence on the streets as the night wore on.
 
Tuesday’s flash point came shortly after the curfew, when about 100 people remained at the major intersection of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. Some threw bottles and rocks at officers outfitted in riot gear. Police deployed smoke bombs and pepper balls against those who remained, and a group described as “criminals” started a fire outside a library, according to the Baltimore police Twitter feed. By 11 p.m., however, most protesters had dispersed.
NBC News confirmed that of the 10 arrests last night, seven were for breaking the curfew, one was for disorderly conduct, and only two were for looting.
 
The curfew ended this morning at 5 a.m. and the streets “were still.” Public schools, which were closed earlier this week, will reopen this morning.
 
At a press conference shortly before midnight, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “Tonight, I think the biggest thing is that the citizens are safe, the city is stable. He added that he was “very pleased with the community, with the citizens, with the residents,” and that the curfew was “working.”
 
It’s difficult to predict whether the relative stability in Baltimore will continue, and in some recent instances, we’ve seen violent incidents return in other cities even after apparent calm. That said, locals seemed confident that the community turned a corner over the last 24 hours.
 
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she hoped the reduced violence and clean-up efforts “can be our defining moment and not the darkest days that we saw yesterday.”
 
The curfew policy will remain in place through the end of the week.
 

Baltimore and Freddie Gray

Relative calm returns to Baltimore streets