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 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.”
OTHER BREW REPORTING ON FREDDIE GRAY:
• City to pay $80,000 to victim of police beating 4/20/15
• Freddie Gray death: heartache for family, hash spotlight for Baltimore 4/21/15
• Demanding jail for officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest, marchers share their own police horror stories 4/22/15
• City prepares for worst, but protesters dial down the anger at City Hall march 4/23/15
• City workers sent home early today ahead of Freddie Gray demonstration 4/23/15
• Policing with impunity: How judges let dubious police tactics flourish (Op-ed by a public defender) 4/25/15
• Pent-up anger over police explodes on city streets after day of peaceful protests 4/26/15
• Most arrested at protest are city residents but mayor and police blame “outside agitators” 4/26/15