The Department of Justice has opened a criminal probe into the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died on Sunday, one week after he suffered a broken back while in police custody.
DOJ spokeswoman Dena Iverson announced on Tuesday that the department would be looking into the case to see whether there were any civil rights violations committed.
Gray was arrested last Sunday after police claimed that he was in possession of a switchblade. Cell phone footage shoes police handcuffing Gray and placing him in a police van. Thirty minutes after his arrest, an ambulance was called to the police station. However, details of what happened in that time period have not been released. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he slipped into a coma and underwent surgery, but he died a week later. An autopsy shows that his spine was 80 percent severed, and he had three broken vertebrae.
On Monday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that the city has launched its own probe into the case, and she promised an honest investigation.
“This is a very, very tense time for Baltimore City, and I understand the community’s frustration,” Rawlings-Blake said at a press conference. “I’m angry that we are here again, that we have to tell another mother that her child is dead. I’m frustrated not only that we are here, but we don’t have all of the answers.”