“I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment.”
(Reuters) – Six Baltimore police officers will face criminal charges, including second-degree murder and manslaughter, in the death of a black man who was arrested and suffered fatal injuries while riding in a moving police van, the city’s chief prosecutor said on Friday.
Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, said Gray, who died a week after his April 12 arrest, suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed inside the van. She said officers failed to provide medical attention to Gray even though he asked for it on at least two occasions.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the officers charged in the case, she said. In addition to murder and manslaughter, charges include assault, misconduct and false imprisonment.
In a dramatic news conference, Mosby said the Maryland chief medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide and that his spinal injuries occurred while he was riding without restraints in the van.
Gray was no longer breathing when he was finally removed from the van, Mosby told a crowd, which broke into applause after she finished speaking.
Gray’s death on April 19, a week after his arrest, is the latest flashpoint in a national outcry over the treatment of African-Americans and other minority groups by U.S. law enforcement.
After a night of rioting in Baltimore on Monday, protests spread to other major cities in a reprise of demonstrations last year set off by police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, New York and elsewhere.
It won’t all change overnight but I believe this is a step in the right direction. All officers should be held accountable for their actions. Period.