Protesters march, hold rally at Baltimore City Hall in memory of Freddie Gray

A large group of protesters gathered outside Baltimore City Hall Saturday for an emotional yet peaceful rally in memory of Freddie Gray. Afterwards, they marched to the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues, the same place where violent riots took place earlier this week. Meanwhile, the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in place.

The protesters continued their calls for justice, peace and communication during Saturday's events. Some still expressed frustration, but they did so peacefully. It was a day that was much unlike last weekend.

Members of the crowd chanted "no justice, no peace, no racist police" as they marched through the streets on their way to city hall. The event was billed as a victory rally, one day after charges were announced against six Baltimore police officers involved in Gray's arrest.  

Black Lawyers for Justice was expecting at least 10,000 people to show up downtown. Smaller groups of what looked to be several hundred gathered all around Baltimore and made their way through the streets to join the thousands at the main rally at City Hall.
 
They carried homemade signs, calling for peace, as well as printed ones asking for justice. Others wore T-shirts that read, "Black Lives Matter."

One couple was celebrating their marriage, but took a break from their own reception to take part in the march.

Many who participated said they were pleased to hear of the charges against the officers, but stressed there is more work to be done.
  
Near a CVS store that was looted and burned earlier in the week, groups of policemen stood on corners and a police helicopter flew overhead. Some officers twirled wooden batons idly. Someone had used chalk to draw a peace sign and write "Freddie Gray" on the brick face of the store. Hearts and dollar signs had been drawn on the store's boarded up windows.

Police commissioner: "The truth will come out"
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts held a short news conference Saturday evening on the case of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was injured while in police custody.
  
Batts said, "Peace and calm is always better than violence. My hope is that we work toward a new level of partnership in all parts of our community. As we move forward, it is important that we do not lose sight of what brought us here. Many families remain in pain tonight: the Gray family, the family of all the officers involved, families across Baltimore. ...The case is in the hands of the state's attorney. ... the truth will come out. The truth will overcome."
  
On the charges against the police officers Batts said, "I think, like the state attorney says, this not an indictment on all the police officers within the organization."
  
He added, "I cannot have a tolerance for any misconduct at any time."

Gov. Hogan calls for peaceful weekend demonstrations
At the same time, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged participants to keep their demonstrations peaceful and nonviolent. Gov. Hogan says he hopes to see the continuation of the four days of calm in the city that followed Monday's violence.
   
Hogan said in a statement that the "right to demonstrate is a fundamental part of our society, but damaging property or putting innocent bystanders in danger will not be tolerated." Hogan thanked the Maryland National Guard, the Maryland State Police and local police from outside Baltimore for helping to keep the peace.

Earlier Saturday, a moment of silence was held by demonstrators at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues in Gray's honor. Police and National Guard troops were also present to keep the peace. Barricades were put up around City Hall in preparation for the afternoon rally.

Gray died last month after being injured in police custody. On Friday, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced six Baltimore police officers will face charges in Gray's death. Mosby said they had no reason to stop or chase Gray on April 12 when he was confronted. He died of his injuries on April 19.

Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White, and officers Caesar Goodson, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter have a preliminary hearing together on May 27 in Baltimore District Court, according to online court records.

If the judge finds there is probable cause to support the charges, the case will move to circuit court to begin preparations for trial.
   
Defendants can, and often do, waive preliminary hearings and the case is transferred to circuit court. Also, a prosecutor can seek an indictment from a grand jury, which would make a preliminary hearing unnecessary.

FOP taking donations for officers' defense
About 50 to 60 protesters showed up to show their opposition to the fact that the Fraternal Order of Police is asking for donations to help the officers charged.

On Saturday, they were asking for donations for the defense team that will represent the six officers. Protesters brought fake money to make their "donations." While the protesters were there, two area residents showed up in support of the police, and angry words were exchanged. 

Protesters told FOX 5 they feel the charges filed Friday against the six officers are appropriate.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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