Man’s Death in Police Custody triggers Protests in Baltimore
The mayor of Baltimore has come in support of protesters who have been holding near-daily demonstrations this week after 25-year-old man died in police custody. Freddie Gray died a week after he suffered a spinal cord injury during his arrest.
The Baltimore Police Department has admitted that the much-needed medical help was not provided to the man. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Friday that authorities must explain why medical attention was not provided to Gray. She also thanked the demonstrators for being peaceful.
Protesters are looking forward to shut down the city by walking down the streets and snarling traffic. Thousands of people are expected to turn out for the demonstration, according to president of a black lawyers' group.
“Things will change on Saturday, and the struggle will be amplified. It cannot be business as usual with that man's spine broken, with his back broken, with no justice on the scene”, said Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice.
All six officers involved in the arrest of Gray should be arrested with immediate effect, demanded Shabazz. Gray succumbed to the spinal injury a week after in police custody.
Suspension orders have already been issued for the officers and their own department has launched a criminal investigation into the case.
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis said Friday that Gray’s life could have been saved had the medical attention he badly needed been provided to him at the spot where he was arrested. Davis said the act of the police officers at fault was a violation of the Police Department's policy.
Police said Gray was a black and his arrest came on April 12 after he made eye contact with police officers and ran away. He was later held down by police officers, who then handcuffed him and loaded him into the van. Leg cuffs were put on him after he became irate inside the van, said police.
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