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As the city of Baltimore, along with the rest of the world held it’s breath, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray. The case of a young man who’s arrest was caught on tape and has drawn national attention to police conduct.

The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report Friday that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded their initial investigation and handed her their findings.

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The death of Mr. Gray brought to about a class between the police and the majority Black community in the city. This culminated in a riot on Monday in which cars and buildings were set on fire, stores were looted, more than 200 people were arrested and dozens of officers were injured.

How He Died

Ms. Mosby said that Mr. Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury on April 12 while being transported in a police van — and not earlier, while being arrested — and pointed to the failure of the police to put a seatbelt on him as a crucial factor. “Mr. Gray suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside the BPD wagon,” she said, referring to the police van.

Here’s a video of the announcement:

Despite repeated stops to check on his condition, the van driver and other officers never belted him in, she said, at times leaving him facedown on the van floor with his hands behind him.

Mr. Gray’s condition deteriorated, she said, as officers repeatedly ignored his pleas for medical attention and ignored obvious signs that he was…

Freddie Gray’s Death Ruled A Homicide: What That Really Means  was originally published on

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