(BALTIMORE) — Protesters and police gathered in front of the Baltimore court where a judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the first case connected to the death of Freddie Gray.
Footage from outside the court shows demonstrators gathered and a line of sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement formed in front of the Baltimore Circuit court.
The mayor urged for residents to remain calm and, if they were to protest, that they do so peacefully.
“We have a chance to show the country how to be heard peacefully, respectfully, and effectively,” mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a press conference alongside the chief of police. “I know that as a community we are up to the task.”
Chief Kevin Davis said that the police are prepared to allow protesters space but also enforce the law.
“Our pledge to the folks of Baltimore is one of public safety,” Davis said. “We’re here to protect, we’re here to serve and we take that responsibility very, very seriously.”
The city has been on edge while awaiting for the verdict in the case against police officer William Porter to be handed down. Porter plead not guilty to charges of second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office, and the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges.
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