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The Dripby Mark Reutter12:37 pmApr 23, 20150

BREAKING: City workers sent home early today ahead of Freddie Gray demonstration

Protesters plan a 3 p.m. rally in front of City Hall

In an email blast, Baltimore’s Labor Commissioner has told non-essential downtown employees they can leave their jobs at 2 p.m. today in anticipation of a large demonstration by Freddie Gray protesters.

“Due to expected heavy traffic and possible public transportation delays this afternoon, liberal leave will be in effect starting at 2:00 p.m. for non-essential employees working in downtown buildings,” says Commissioner Deborah F. Moore-Carter in a memo obtained by The Brew.

Marchers who have been demonstrating daily over the fatal arrest of Freddie Gray are headed for a 3 p.m. demonstration at City Hall and police headquarters two blocks away. Rev. Jamal H. Bryant, of the Empowerment Temple, is leading the march.

“Tell everyone u know TODAY we are meeting at City Hall,” says a tweet from Bryant’s church, @EmpowermentTem2.

A demonstration also will take place – as it has for several days – at 3 p.m. at the Western Police District on North Mount Street.

Barricades Erected

Barricades are being erected around City Hall in anticipation of today’s demonstration. There was a tense confrontation between demonstrators and police last night at the Gay Street on-ramp to I-83.

The Carter memo says that “the normal advanced notice requirement is waived. Essential employees may be granted liberal leave also provided City operations are not disrupted.”

The memo continues that “non-essential employees working the afternoon or evening shifts must call their immediate superiors for guidance.”

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