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Baltimore protesters celebrate, defy curfew after officers charged

Baltimore protesters celebrate, defy curfew after officers charged

The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray had sparked rioting and days of protests in the US East Coast port city over alleged police racism and brutality.

Protesters in Baltimore erupted in celebration and hundreds of people broke the city's curfew, a day after six police officers were charged over the death of an African-American man in their custody.

A string of killings of unarmed African-American men by the police in recent months have ignited protests across the country. Charges are rarely brought against officers.

Friday's charges had therefore come as a surprise to the city of 620,000, about an hour's drive north of Washington.

The death of Gray at the hands of police has reignited simmering resentment in the United States over law enforcement tactics, particularly in their dealings with African Americans.

In video recorded of the incident in Baltimore, Gray appeared to be in pain as he was hustled into a police van. He died seven days later with 80 percent of his spine severed at the neck

His death has prompted rallies in many other major American cities, including New York, Philadelphia and the capital Washington, in echoes of the protests that broke out across the United States last year over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

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