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Wake held in Baltimore for black man who died after arrest

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-04-27 10:07

Wake held in Baltimore for black man who died after arrest

People rally for support of Freddie Gray, who died following an arrest in Baltimore, at his wake in Baltimore, Maryland April 26, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

BALTIMORE - A wake was held on Sunday for the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died after being taken into police custody and sustaining a mysterious spinal injury, a death that has angered many residents of this predominantly African-American city.

The wake for Freddie Gray on Sunday afternoon came the day after thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Baltimore to protest police brutality against minorities, especially black men like Gray, who died on April 19.

As darkness fell on Saturday, about 100 protesters splintered off and threw bottles, metal barricades and other objects at police officers and their cruisers, authorities said.

It was the latest expression of an national outcry over a white-dominated culture of law enforcement in the United States that critics say disrespects and brutalizes African-Americans.

Ricardo Flood, who said he did not know Gray but was frightened by the police violence, stood outside the Tudor-style funeral home on Sunday, waving a sign in support of Gray's family. "All I can do is pray for them," he said.

Gray died a week after patrol officers arrested him following a foot chase though a high-crime area of the city. It was not clear why Gray was detained but officers said he was carrying a switchblade knife, and he was put inside a transport van.

At some point, Gray suffered the spinal injury that would lead to his death a week later. Anthony Batts, the city's police commissioner, acknowledged on Friday that officers repeatedly failed to give him timely medical attention while in custody.

The head of the Baltimore police union called that assertion premature and said it was apparently "politically driven."

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