Mourners will gather Sunday at a North Baltimore funeral home to remember a 25-year-old black man who died a week ago while in police custody, an unexplained tragedy that brought thousands to downtown Baltimore to protest police violence on Saturday.
The wake for Freddie Gray on Sunday afternoon comes the day after the largest demonstration yet since his death on April 19 and two weeks after a foot chase with patrol officers, his eventual arrest, and a ride in a police transport van, Reuters reported.
— CNN (@CNN) April 25, 2015
Anthony Batts, the city’s police commissioner, said on Friday that officers who detained Gray failed to give him timely medical attention for a spinal injury he suffered in custody which ultimately lead to his death.
The head of the Baltimore police union said this assertion was premature and claimed it to be “politically driven.”
Gray became another name on the ever-growing list of black men who have died under questionable circumstances during police encounters in recent months. The highly publicized incidents have triggered an outcry and national demonstrations over the use of excessive police force against African-Americans.
Last year, weeks of protests followed the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.
About 2,000 individuals marched Saturday afternoon through downtown Baltimore taking a moment to pause at Camden Yards, the home of the Orioles baseball team, where some demonstrators shouted chants at officers standing guard.
As it grew later into the evening, about 100 protesters splintered from the group and threw bottles, metal barricades, and other objects at police officers and their cars, authorities said.
Police arrested 12 people who ignored orders to disperse, Batts added. At least one was hurt during the incident.
Six police officers have been suspended in the Gray case, with an internal investigation under way.