Baltimore police custody death protests grow

Freddie Gray, 25, died on Sunday after suffering a fatal spine injury under unexplained circumstances after his arrest earlier this month.

The US Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.

A thousand people gathered on Tuesday at the site of his arrest, kicking off seven days of protests against what they believe is excessive police force.

As people raised their hands, Pastor Jamal Bryant, one of the demonstrations organisers, said the gesture was not an act of surrender.

“It’s a sign of strength, of one unity and one commitment that we will not rest until we get justice for Freddie Gray,” he said.

Gray was arrested on 12 April. Officials said that he ran away after he “made eye contact” with officers on patrol.

Officers pursued him and took him into custody minutes later. The officers’ reasoning for detaining Gray is not clear.

“There is no law against running,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told reporters on Monday.

“Running while black is not probable cause,” Billy Murphy, a lawyer hired by the Gray family, said.


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