(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore officials said Monday they share residents’ frustration with the lack of answers for why Freddie Gray, whose family says he was injured during his arrest last week by Baltimore police, died Sunday.
“This is a very, very tense time for Baltimore city,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “And I understand the community’s frustration. I understand it because I’m frustrated. I’m angry that we are here again. That we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead.”
“I’m frustrated that not only that we’re here but we don’t have all of the answers,” she said.
She complimented the city’s “peaceful demonstrations” and added that officials are “moving as quickly as possible to determine exactly how his death occurred.”
Gray “clung to life for seven days” before he died Sunday, according to his family’s attorney.
Gray was a “healthy” man when he was “chased” by police last Sunday “without any evidence he had committed a crime,” William Murphy Jr., an attorney for Gray’s family, said.
Baltimore police said Gray, 25, had been trying to flee from officers, according to ABC News affiliate WMAR-TV.
According to the charging document, Gray “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence” and was apprehended after a brief foot chase.
“This officer noticed a knife clipped to the inside of his front right pants pocket. The defendant was arrested without force or incident. The knife was recovered,” the charging document said.
The charging document also states that during transport, Gray suffered a medical emergency and was immediately transported to Shock Trauma.
Cellphone video appeared to capture Gray screaming as officers dragged him to a police van, according to WMAR-TV.
“His take-down and arrest without probable cause occurred under a police video camera, which taped everything including the police dragging and throwing Freddie into a police vehicle while he screamed in pain,” Murphy said in a statement to ABC News.
Murphy said, “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 last Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma to save his life.”
Gray “clung to life for seven days” before he died Sunday morning, according to Murphy.
Police had said last week it was unclear whether Gray suffered a medical emergency or was injured during the arrest, WMAR-TV reported.
Murphy added, “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 officers involved are suspended with pay, as per policy, according to Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
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