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Six police officers charged over death of black man who had spine broken

Freddie Gray died after being arrested two weeks ago.

Image: Apexchange

THE TOP PROSECUTOR in the US city of Baltimore has announced six police officers will face criminal charges.

The announcement from State Attorney Marilyn J Mosby’s office comes nearly two weeks after the death of Freddie Gray, which sparked riots in the eastern city.

Mosby announced the charges just hours after she had been given the results of a police investigation into the arrest and death of Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury in custody.

The stiffest charge – second-degree depraved heart murder – is laid against the driver of the police van. Other officers face charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest.

The officers failed to get medical help even though Gray requested it repeatedly after he was chased down and pinned to a side-walk on 12 April and hoisted into the van. At some point while he was in custody, he suffered a mysterious spinal injury and died a week later.

The announcement prompted whoops, hollers and shouts of “Justice!” in the streets of Baltimore.

Mosby said the switchblade which officers accused Gray of illegally carrying clipped inside his pants pocket was in fact a legal knife, and served as no justification for his arrest.

“No one is above the law,” Mosby said at a news conference.

A union representing the officers defended them, saying that they were “diligent” the whole time.

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