The U.S. Department of Justice is opening a civil rights investigation into the Baltimore Police Department in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.
“Based on preliminary information, the Department of Justice has officially opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violation occurred,” DOJ spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in a statement.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the announcement came almost immediately after members of Maryland’s Washington delegation called on Attorney General Eric Holder to open a probe.
The feds already have staff in Baltimore conducting an overall review of the Baltimore Police Department.
Gray died Sunday after he was left in a weeklong coma following an arrest in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. Gray was chased by police. He was then taken into custody in a police van, but few other details have been released about what happened inside the van. Gray’s lawyer said his client’s neck was 80 perecent severed.
Six police officers have been suspended without pay, but a police official said they denied using force.
According to NBC News, the officers were identified as
- Lt. Brian Rice, 41, who has been with the department since 1997;
- Sgt. Alicia White, 30, who has been with the department since 2010;
- Officer William Porter, 25, who has been with the department since 2012;
- Officer Garrett Miller, 26, who has been with the department since 2012;
- Officer Edward Nero, 29, who has been with the department since 2012;
- Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, who has been with the department since 1999.
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