Baltimore has suspended six police officers with pay as authorities said Monday they would continue to investigate a man’s death following a spinal injury he apparently sustained while in custody.
Officials held a news conference to update a frustrated community that is demanding answers to what they perceive as another instance of excessive police force. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she understands the community’s concerns and shares their frustrations.
“I’m angry that we’re here again, that we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I’m frustrated not only that we’re here, but that we don’t have all the answers.”
The news conference comes one day after the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured after an arrest on April 12. Gray was stopped after running away from an area where he saw a police presence, and a pocket knife was found in his pants pocket, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Gray had an injured spinal cord, but officials said an autopsy has not revealed evidence of how the physical trauma occurred. On Sunday, a lawyer for Gray’s family said in a statement that Gray had fallen into a coma after his spine was 80% “severed at his neck.”
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said that an independent board would review the case after the investigation is concluded by May 1.
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