143 arrests made in NYC rally for Baltimore man who died in police custody: NYPD

Posted at 6:28 AM, Apr 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 13:03:35-04

UNION SQUARE (PIX11/Wires) — More than 100 arrests were made in a Wednesday night protest in Manhattan where throngs of demonstrators gathered to decry the death of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who was critically hurt in police custody and later died of spinal cord injuries.

Police said 143 people were taken into custody during the demonstration and the majority of the arrests were for disorderly conduct charges.

Several hundred protesters began gathering in Manhattan’s Union Square Wednesday night, chanting “no justice, no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot” as police officers watched.

Later, a group of protesters spilled into the street disrupting traffic. The police moved in and began making arrests. Officers with batons had to push the crowd back onto the sidewalk.

As a protester being arrested was led to a police van, people shouted “the whole world is watching.”

Another group of protesters marched north to Times Square where they held a “die in” by lying on the ground.

They gathered in Manhattan as part of a national call for answers in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died April 19 after being arrested by Baltimore police on suspicion of possessing a switchblade.

While being taken to jail, Gray fell into a coma. He was transported to a hospital with injuries to spinal cord and larynx and died soon after.

Witnesses questioned the origin of Gray’s injuries, suspecting they may have been caused by excessive force on the part of the arresting officers. The fatal incident remains under investigation.

Baltimore police said they plan to hand over findings from their investigation to state prosecutors Friday. But that’s far from the end of the case.

“Let me further clear up: When we take our information or our files to the State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday, that is not the conclusion of this investigation,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said last week.

“That is just us sitting down, providing all the data we have. We will continue to follow the evidence wherever it goes.”

And don’t expect prosecutors to announce a decision about charges anytime soon.

“I hate to say this, but I think if people are waiting for answers or charges to come on Friday. I don’t think that’s going to happen based on the way the process works,” Gray family attorney Mary Koch said.

“I think that the government officials need to advise people of how the process honestly works and to lower their expectations about what’s going to happen this Friday.”