Denver demonstration against Baltimore cops broken up with pepper spray

Eleven people were arrested Wednesday night in downtown Denver on charges that range from officer assault to obstructing roadways, as police used pepper spray to control a protesters over the death of a black man in the custody of Baltimore police. 

The Denver Post reports about 100 protesters gathered at the downtown jail and marched by the Capitol and down a busy pedestrian walk mall, holding signs in support of demonstrators in Baltimore and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "Black Lives Matter."

Curfew in Baltimore

Shortly before 10 p.m., Baltimore police in riot gear began to shut down North Avenue by lining up in the intersection.

Traffic had been flowing freely at the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues, the site of Monday night's looting as people rioted over Gray's death. On Tuesday night, the intersection had been closed to traffic, blocked by a line of police in riot gear.

As he did Tuesday night, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who represents the area, was on the scene asking more than 100 protesters to go home ahead of the 10 p.m. curfew.

"I'm hoping that people will listen," Cummings said. "This is my neighborhood. I know a lot of these people."

Community members forcefully urged others to go home ahead of the curfew, and a few fights broke out within the crowd. But they were quickly broken up.

Civic leaders declared victory when the intersection at North and Pennsylvania avenues had been cleared of all but a few stragglers 15 minutes after the beginning of the curfew.

As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, police had taken no action against the very few who remained out.

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear remained at the scene, which was the site of rioting Monday, with nothing to do.

"We are very proud of what has happened here tonight. We are proud of our city," Rep. Elijah Cummings said after everyone had gone home. He promised that the investigation into Freddie Gray's death in police custody will remain a top priority.

State Sen. Catherine Pugh noted that members of the community took the lead in clearing the streets, allowing police officers to hang back.

"I think we showed the nation that Baltimore can protect the peace," Pugh said.

She also urged the community to be patient with the Gray investigation. Police are scheduled to provide a report Friday to the state's attorney. But Pugh said that office will need time to review the evidence.

"We have to give her time and her office time to wade through those papers," Pugh said.

Return to Ferguson

Protesters have returned to Ferguson a day after looting, fires and gunfire broke out during demonstrations over the death of Gray.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports several dozen people marched down West Florissant Avenue in the St. Louis suburb Wednesday night protesting the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

That same area was the site of numerous protests after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white Ferguson police officer in August.

A Ferguson Police Department spokesman says three people were shot during protests Tuesday night and four police cars were damaged by rocks and chunks of asphalt thrown by demonstrators.

Protests in New York

Several hundred people have gathered in New York to protest Gray's death, and at least 60 people have been arrested.

Protesters Wednesday first rallied in Manhattan's Union Square, where they chanted "no justice, no peace" and "hands up, don't shoot," a reference to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. Police officers stood and watched.

A police helicopter hovered overhead, and a police loudspeaker warned the protesters that they would be arrested if they marched in the street.

A group of protesters spilled into the street and disrupted traffic. Dozens of police officers moved in with plastic handcuffs and began making arrests while officers with batons pushed the crowd back onto the sidewalk.

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