Hundreds of protesters marched on a Baltimore police station on Tuesday evening, demanding justice for a man who died on Sunday from spinal injuries suffered during an arrest.
Freddie Gray, a 27-year-old black man, was taken into custody on April 12. Cell phone footage shows he was loaded into a police van while conscious but apparently injured.
However, according to police, when Gray was unloaded from the van he was unconscious, having suffered spinal injuries that put him in a coma and ultimately killed him one week later.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday it would conduct its own investigation into the death, but Baltimore police have said none of the officers involved in his arrest described using force or putting a knee on Gray's back.
Those named included Lt. Brian Rice, 41, a member of the Baltimore Police since 1997; Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, a member since 1999; and Sgt. Alicia White, 30, a member since 2010.
Also named were three officers who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2012: Officer Edward Nero, 29; Officer William Porter, 25; and Officer Garrett Miller, 26.
Baltimore Police Department spokesperson Capt. Eric Kowalczyk told CNN that it was standard practice to name officers involved after a death in custody.
According to The Guardian, Rice was the officer who led the initial chase. The newspaper reported Wednesday that the officer was accused of domestic violence in 2008 and 2013.
Gray's mother was among the hundreds of protesters outside of the Western District Police Station.
“We want all six," chanted the protesters, calling for charges to be laid against the suspended officers, according to a Guardian reporter on scene.
"[Gray] did nothing wrong, unless it has become illegal to walk while you are black," Pastor Jamal Bryant told the crowd, according to the Guardian report. "Arrests need to be made on all of those officers."
Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm told NPR Wednesday that he hoped Gray's death would serve as a catalyst for change within the department.
"We've had some other problems with African-Americans dying in police custody and at the hands of police officers here in Baltimore city," said Hamm, who served as commissioner from 2004 to 2007.
"This is possibly the spark that's going to ignite change, real change, in this city, and with the Baltimore Police Department," Hamm said.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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