Calls for calm in Baltimore

01 May 2015

AP

Frustration: a protestor attacks the police in Baltimore after the funeral of Freddie Gray

Frustration: a protestor attacks the police in Baltimore after the funeral of Freddie Gray

FAITH leaders in Baltimore have pleaded for calm after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died from spinal injuries while in police custody.

In a statement released on the steps of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, they urged "all citizens of good will to remain calm and to express their anger and frustration in peaceful and constructive ways".

They asked all faith communities to stand outside their places of worship for a minute's silence this weekend.

Protests have broken out daily since the death of Mr Gray on 19 April, and a curfew has been imposed from 10 p.m across the city. Police fired gas canisters into the remaining crowds to force them to disperse.

Fires were lit across the city, and a centre run by Baltimore Southern Baptist Church was set alight.

The faith leaders said that the city had "immense" challenges to face.

"Too many feel unvalued, and the absence of adequate economic opportunities, affordable housing, drug-treatment resources, and other social safeguards have resulted in a growing sense of hopelessness in our community. Now, more than ever, there is the need for deliberate conversation, accountability, respect, and unity of purpose.

"The issues before us will not be satisfactorily resolved until every man, woman, and child in our city and nation are treated with the human dignity deserving of all God's children, and until all vestiges of the sins of discrimination, prejudice and racism are wiped from the face of the earth."

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