A mural of Freddie Gray by artist Nether at the intersection of Mount and Presbury streets. Photo courtesy of RiseBmore/Instagram.

A memorial concert Wednesday night will pay tribute to Freddie Gray, who died eight years ago this day from injuries he sustained in police custody.

Rise Bmore will honor Gray’s memory with a free evening of words and music at 8 p.m. Wednesday at 2640 Space, located at 2640 Saint Paul St.

The concert will feature performances by Analysis, Sanahara Ama Chandra, Jabari Exum, Eze Jackson, and A’niya Taylor.

Gray died on April 19, 2015, seven days after Baltimore police chased and arrested him for a switchblade they alleged they saw in his pocket. They dragged him into a police van after he was handcuffed and, while being transported in the van without a seatbelt, he suffered severe spinal injury. According to the Washington Post, “medical experts on both sides of the case compared his injury to those sustained when someone dives into too-shallow water.”

Gray’s hospitalization and death resulted in weeks of unrest in Baltimore directed at police for his death, and many viewed the protests as a culmination of the long history of tension between the city’s police and its Black population, and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

The six officers involved were suspended, and on May 1, 2015, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office filed criminal charges against them after the medical examiner’s office ruled Gray’s death a homicide. One trial ended in a mistrial, another with acquittal, and charges against other officers were dropped.

Many on Twitter remembered Gray on the day of his death, saying he should still be alive.

Rise Bmore invites attendees to come early to join them in participating in the 508th West Wednesday, which will start at 6:30 p.m. No reservation is required.

The weekly demonstration is organized by West Coalition and founded by Tawanda Jones to advocate for justice for her brother, Tyrone West — who died in police custody in 2013 — and all victims of police violence. Jones and others have met every Wednesday night for 507 weeks. Tonight’s joint demonstration with Rise Bmore will be the 508th.

To register for the concert honoring Gray, click here.

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