UPDATE: Thousands marched towards City Hall in Baltimore Saturday (April 25) to demand justice for Freddie Gray, CBS News reports. While much of the day was peaceful, there is video circulating online of cops chasing protesters and the city's Police Department has said that there are "pockets of individuals causing disturbances downtown," who have been throwing items at the officers and breaking windows.
There are pleas for peace from all sides.
PREVIOUS: The nation took notice when news of Freddie Gray's death made headlines last week. After it was reported that the Baltimore native died days after an arrest that left him in a coma with mysterious spinal and voice box injuries, the city's Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is demanding answers on why police protocol was not followed.
"I want answers," Rawlings-Blake said. CBS News reports that the police commissioner provided her with an update on the case, stating that the investigation into Gray's death is moving as quickly as possible. The results are expected to be turned over to prosecutors in a week. There, they will decide whether or not criminal charges will be filed.
Since Gray's death, the city's residents have conducted a series of angry, but peaceful, protests criticizing the police department. Demonstrators are ready to take their efforts even further by vowing to protest on Saturday (April 25) and threatening to "shut down" the city in the process.
Rawlings-Blake, however, is continuing to push the need for peaceful activism. "I will not deny we have had a very long and complicated history on issues such as these," she said on Friday. "But it's important to remember that we have an equally long history of peaceful and legal protest."
Police say that Gray was arrested on April 12 after making direct eye contact with officers and running away. The police proceeded to pin him down, handcuff him and load him into a police vehicle. Police claim that he became enraged while in the van, forcing them to put leg cuffs on him. He was, however, not secured with a seat belt, which is a violation of the police department's policy.
Gray asked for medical assistance several times during the ride and after 30 minutes, the paramedics were called. He suffered an unexplained spinal injury at some point during the arrest. Six officers have been suspended with pay while the investigation is in progress.
Gray, who was hospitalized for a week, died Sunday, April 19.
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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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