Another day. Another week. Another community outraged over the loss of yet another young Black male by the hands of our police officers.
The more attention we give the issue, the sooner it becomes history.
Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man injured during an arrest by Baltimore police last week, died Sunday at Shock Trauma, prompting protests by city residents and out-of-town activists and promises from city officials for a thorough investigation.
Gray, 25, died a week after he suffered a broken vertabra after being arrested near Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester.
Police have not given a cause for Gray’s injuries or specified why he was arrested, citing an investigation into the incident. Officials are expected to look into any criminal conduct by Gray and whether criminal charges against officers are warranted.
More than 100 protesters have gathered for two days outside the Western District station, demanding answers about what happened to Gray.
William “Billy” Murphy Jr., a lawyer for Gray’s family, contradicted a Police Department timeline of the arrest, which said medics were called to the Western District station 30 minutes after the police van carrying Gray left the scene. Murphy said he has information indicating Gray was at the police station for an hour before medics were called.
“What we know is that while in police custody for committing no crime — for which they had no justification for making the arrest except he was a black man running — his spine was virtually severed, 80 percent severed, in the neck area,” Murphy said. He called Gray’s injuries “catastrophic.”
Murphy said Gray “lapsed into a coma, died, was resuscitated, stayed in a coma and on Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma. “He clung to life for seven days,” he said.
The attorney also said that the city has a camera above where the arrest occurred and requested that the footage be released to the public.
“We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility,” Murphy said. “However, his family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know the real truth; and we will not stop until we get justice for Freddie.”
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