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Protests in Baltimore over death of Freddie Gray

By Andrew V. Pestano
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she understands the protesters' frustration. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she understands the protesters' frustration. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

BALTIMORE, April 22 (UPI) -- At least 1,000 protesters in Baltimore took to the streets late Tuesday, to demonstrate against the death of Freddie Gray, whose neck was broken while in police custody.

Crowds chanted "No justice! No Peace!" as they walked down the streets of the city. "We won't stop," one protester said. "We have the power and, of course, today shows we have the numbers."

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Gray, 25, died Sunday, one week after he was arrested.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she understood the protesters' frustration.

RELATED Justice Department launches civil rights investigation into death of Freddie Gray

"Mr. Gray's family deserves justice, and our community deserves an opportunity to heal, to get better, and to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again," Rawlings-Blake told CNN.

Signs held by protesters read "Black Lives Matter" and "Convict Freddie's killers."

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday it would launch a civil rights investigation into Gray's death.

RELATED Six Baltimore cops suspended after detained man dies from broken neck

William Murphy, a lawyer for Gray's family, said Gray's spine was 80 percent severed at the neck while in police custody.

He added Gray was healthy before his arrest "without any evidence he had committed a crime," and that "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."

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Police have not specified the reason for his arrest or offered a cause for his injuries, citing an ongoing investigation. The six officers involved in the incident were suspended with pay on Monday.

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Danielle Haynes contributed to this report.

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