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Citizens and groups such as the Justice League of NYC walk along the streets of West Baltimore in protest against the police following the death of Freddie Gray who died while in the hospital. (Photo: Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Man Dies After Arrest, Prompting Calls for Answers and Accountability

Freddie Gray's family attorney says: 'His family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know the real truth; and we will not stop until we get justice for Freddie.'

Deirdre Fulton

Protests and calls for an independent inquiry came in the wake of the news on Sunday morning that Freddie Gray, the 27-year-old Baltimore man injured during an arrest by police last week, had died.

"We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility."
—William Murphy, Gray family lawyer

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that city police wrote in court documents that Gray, who is black, was arrested "without force or incident" for having a switchblade knife and suffered a medical emergency during transport.

However, in a statement released Sunday, the family's attorney William "Billy" Murphy, Jr. offered a different account:

On last Sunday morning at about 8 am, the police chased Freddie Gray, a 27 year old healthy man, without any evidence he had committed a crime. His take-down and arrest without probable cause occurred under a police video camera, which taped everything including the police dragging and throwing Freddy into a police vehicle while he screamed in pain. While in police custody, his spine was 80 percent severed at his neck. He lapsed into a coma, died, was resuscitated, stayed in a coma and on Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma to save his life. He clung to life for seven days and died today at approximately 7 am. We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility. However, his family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve to know the real truth; and we will not stop until we get justice for Freddie.

The weekend's protests outside the Western District Baltimore police station involved members of the People's Power Assembly, a Baltimore activist group that has long protested police brutality in the city, mixed with a contingent from the Justice League NYC, who redirected their 250-mile 'March 2 Justice' to Washington, D.C., "to stand in solidarity with the family of Freddie Gray."

Of the call for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Gray's death, local Rev. Cortley "C.D." Witherspoon said: "The family needs to be able to have that. They deserve that."

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