Six Baltimore police officers to face charges over death of 25-year-old black man
On Friday, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that six Baltimore police officers will face charges over the death of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray.
Gray was taken into custody by the Baltimore Police Department on April 12, 2015 for allegedly possessing a switchblade. While being transported ‘handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained’ in a police van, he fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center.
Gray died last month, April 19, 2015 after suffering a severe spine and neck injury while in police custody.
The circumstances of the injuries were initially unclear. However, eyewitness suggested that the officers involved used unnecessary force against Gray while arresting him.
On May 1, 2015, state prosecutors in Baltimore received a medical examiner's report that ruled that Gray's death was a homicide. His arrest was also labeled as illegal by the protesters as the alleged switchblade Gray was carrying was a legal-sized pocket knife.
Friday’s announcement by Mosby has brought cheers from protesters and words of protest from the police union.
Freddie Gray's stepfather told reporters that the family is satisfied with the charges announced. According to him, these charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie.
However, the police union maintains none of the officers are responsible for Gray's death. IKt said that Mosby has conflicts of interests and criticized her for not waiting until police were done with their inquiry.
Mosby emerged gave a detailed description of what happened to Gray on Friday, She told how Gray arrested and mentioned that the police officers ignored his requests for medical attention.
She said, "The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner's determination that Mr. Gray's death was a homicide, which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges”.
She mentioned that she's fighting for her community. She stressed that residents have to keep their protests peaceful if they want justice.