Cities Across the U.S. Protest in Solidarity With Baltimore
By Matt Pearce
The high-profile unrest in Baltimore triggered protests in several American cities Wednesday.
Demonstrators across the country were spurred by the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, whose family says he suffered a partially severed spine and a crushed voice box while in police custody. Officials have confirmed that he died of a severed spine.
Here's what happened at some of the protests:
After more than 1,000 marchers streamed through the city's streets early Wednesday evening, the crowds dispersed and the 10 p.m. curfew passed with little drama.
The crowd facing police in west-side Baltimore, the epicenter of the protests, was largely made up of media when the clock hit 10 p.m. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) was on the scene, telling people to go home.
More than 500 demonstrators peacefully marched through Boston on Wednesday evening, the Boston Globe reported.
The crowd gathered at police headquarters, where Boston Police Superintendent in Chief William Gross, the first black official to hold the position, greeted and shook hands with a protest leader, the newspaper reported.
"I'm a student of history," Gross told protest organizer Brock Satter, according to the Globe. "If people didn't protest what they felt was injustice, I wouldn't be here in this capacity today as chief."
Denver police used pepper spray on a crowd of about 100 demonstrators that gathered downtown Wednesday evening, the Denver Post reported. Some of the demonstrators had been holding signs in support of the protests in Baltimore, the newspaper said.
For the second night in a row, demonstrators protested on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, one of the centers of the St. Louis suburb's protests and rioting after the police shooting of Michael Brown last year. Several dozen demonstrators blocked traffic, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Three people were shot and wounded at Tuesday night's protest, which ended with some demonstrators looting a gas station and vandalizing police cars, the newspaper reported.
About 50 demonstrators gathered for about three hours in Houston's south side and protested peacefully, according to Associated Press and local news reports.
About 1,500 people marched through Minneapolis in solidarity with Baltimore in one of the nation's largest demonstrations Wednesday, and no one had been arrested by the time the march ended about 9 p.m., the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
"We have a lot of work to do, and we are not immune to the problems that have plagued major cities in the last few months," Nekima Levy-Pounds, a University of St. Thomas law professor and civil rights activist, told the newspaper.
Police arrested more than 60 marchers in New York City as a crowd of several hundred people marched through Manhattan, monitored closely by police.
The crowd splintered into several smaller groups, and in Herald Square, about 200 marchers laid in the middle of the intersection for a few minutes before heading to Times Square.
Taisha Herrera, 37, of the Bronx brought her two children, Tyreen Smith, 11, and Molly Smith, 9, to a gathering in Union Square. "As children of color, I want them to know the truth about police brutality," Herrera said.
About 50 demonstrators marched through downtown for a solidarity protest, blocking cars and chanting, "If you're not furious, you're not paying attention," according to Seattle Times reporter Paige Cornwell.
Hundreds of demonstrators shut down traffic in D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood and marched to the White House in solidarity with the Freddie Gray protests happening in Baltimore about 40 miles to the northeast, the Washington Post reported.
"All night, all day, we're going to fight for Freddie Gray," the crowd chanted, according to the Post.
Times staff writer Tina Susman and special correspondent Vera Haller in New York contributed to this report.
(c)2015 the Los Angeles Times