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Two Arrested As Protesters, Police Clash In Baltimore After Freddie Gray Death

Authorities have said they believe Freddie Gray's fatal spinal cord injury happened in a police transport van. The Baltimore mayor plans to meet Friday with local activists and clergy members to discuss protests.

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Protests continued Thursday in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died from severe injuries he sustained while in police custody.

A few hundred protesters looping the plaza, "all night all day we want justice for #freddiegray." #voaalert

Several hundred people gathered at Baltimore City Hall, then marched toward the harbor.

Protests over death of #FreddieGray have begun outside Baltimore City Hall.

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Baltimore police officers were out in large numbers, and the department said it had canceled time off for them.

We are listening to the concerns of the community while protecting their constitutional rights to protest and be heard.

"The Baltimore Police Department as a matter of past practice asks for the assistance of local and state law enforcement partners for any large scale event, festival, and other occasions that draws large crowds," officials said in a statement.

The protest was largely peaceful. At one point, people surrounded a police car before moving away.

Police Car Surrounded. Chant for #FreddieGray Ensues. Police dont flex or spaz out. Crowd moves on. Period.

However, a scuffle did break out between protesters and officers, as captured on video by WJZ-TV.

#BREAKING: Police say 2 people have been arrested for disorderly conduct in #FreddieGray protests.

Baltimore Police wrestle down John Patterson b4 arresting. Couldn't make out what happened. #FreddieGray

Two people were taken into custody, according to police.

We've taken two individuals into custody at Pennsylvania Avenue and Pitcher Street for disorderly conduct and destruction of property.

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Others continued to demonstrate outside the Baltimore Police's Western Division.

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Concerns about out-of-town protesters prompted Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to plan a meeting with local clergy members, activists, and community leaders on Friday, the Baltimore Sun reported.

"The mayor wants to make sure that we are providing them with everything they need to make sure people can protest peacefully," Rawlings-Blake's spokesman, Kevin Harris, told the Sun. "Like the mayor, Baltimore is their home. It's where they grew up. They don't want to see outside influences come in and have a negative impact. The mayor is determined to not let us go backwards."

Gray died Sunday, a week after he was arrested on April 12. Lawyers for his family said his spine was 80% severed at the time of his death. Officials have confirmed he died of a spinal injury.

Family releases a photo of #FreddieGray, who died Sunday, a week after his arrest. http://t.co/uyzuVYarVD

It has so far been unclear how Gray became injured. The six officers who were involved in his arrest and transport have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Video from Gray's arrest shows him screaming as officers put him into the transport van. According to the police department, Gray appeared uninjured at the time, though he requested an inhaler.

Gray was also "irate" during transport, department officials continued, and when the van at one point stopped, he was put into leg irons.

When the van reached its destination, however, Gray was unable to speak or breathe.

A lawyer representing the police union and at least one of the officers said Wednesday that Gray had not been wearing a seatbelt inside the transport van. Though a violation of policy, the lawyer said officers are sometimes unable to buckle in suspects who are combative, the Associated Press reported.

The Baltimore Police Department confirmed that policy requires all suspects to wear seat belts in transport vans.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts later told the Associated Press that there were no circumstances under which a prisoner should not be wearing a seatbelt.

"It's our responsibility to make sure people are safely transported, especially if their hands are behind their back," he said.

Batts also said another suspect who was in the transport van at the same as Gray told investigators that Gray was moving, kicking, and making noises until the van arrived at the police station.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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