Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore on Tuesday to protest the death of a 27-year-old black man who died after being arrested by local police.
The U.S. Justice Department is looking into the case of Freddie Gray, who arrested on April 12 and died days later in a hospital after slipping into a coma, a spokeswoman said.
A preliminary autopsy showed Gray died from a spinal injury.
Baltimore police have identified six officers suspended over the death, which sparked outrage in the largely black city and renewed concern about U.S. law enforcement’s treatment of minorities.
The crowd of protesters gathered on Tuesday evening outside the city’s Western District police headquarters and marched to the spot a few blocks away where Gray was arrested, according to aerial footage on local television.
The protest was peaceful, according to local media.
Officers arrested Gray because he fled when they approached him on a street, an incident captured by bystanders’ video recordings.
They found a switchblade knife in his pocket and put him in a police van for transport to a station. When Gray was taken from the van, he was unresponsive and transported to a hospital.
Demanding “Justice for Freddie,” the protesters were calling for the six officers to be charged with first-degree murder, according to CNN.
They could be seen raising their hands in the air, in what has become a protest sign since the August 2014 death of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Some witnesses said Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, had put his hands in the air and said “Don’t shoot” before he was killed. A U.S. Justice Department report later said it could not confirm those accounts and said they were not credible.
In the Baltimore case, a Justice Department spokeswoman said: “Based on preliminary information, the Department of Justice has officially opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violation occurred.”
Police identified the officers suspended with pay as Lieutenant Brian Rice, 41, Sergeant Alicia White, 30, Officer William Porter, 25, Officer Garrett Miller, 26, Officer Edward Nero, 29, and Officer Caesar Goodson, 45.
Gray’s death follows a series of killings of unarmed black men by white police. The deadly encounters include incidents in New York City and North Charleston, South Carolina.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Additional reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst in New York, Suzannah Gonzalez in Chicago and Julia Edwards in Washington; Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bill Trott, Lisa Von Ahn, Ted Botha and Sandra Maler)
Watch footage from the protest, as aired on WJZ-TV on Tuesday, below.
Democrats are not ‘censoring’ Donald Trump — his increasingly desperate staff is doing that
On Friday, Donald Trump, with his usual sociopathic levels of impulsiveness, thought it wise to commit another likely impeachable offense in the middle of a hearing in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. As former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified to Trump's bizarre, unethical and abusive behavior, he took to Twitter to lambast her in real time, claiming that everywhere she had been posted "turned bad" and personally blaming her for the civil war in Somalia, which is the epitome of a baseless accusation. House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called the act "witness intimidation".
Taliban release two Western hostages in Afghanistan
The Taliban handed two Western hostages over to US forces in southern Afghanistan Tuesday, three years after they were abducted, in a swap for three high-ranking insurgent prisoners that could boost peace talks.
The exchange of American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks for the militants -- including Anas Haqqani, brother to the Taliban's deputy leader -- was welcomed by both the United States and the insurgents.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the releases "give us hope for the success of intra-Afghan peace negotiations, which the United States stands ready to support."
President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine getting ‘tired’ of Trump scandal
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that his country is "tired" of questions related to the Trump scandal, amid a critical week of public impeachment hearings in Washington.
"We have our country, we have our independence, we have our own problems," he complained after a press conference in Kiev with visiting Czech prime minister Andrej Babis.
Hearings began last week in Washington into whether US President Donald Trump ordered to freeze US military aid to Ukraine in an effort to get Kiev to launch investigations against potential 2020 election rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.