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A message written on the pavement as police in riot gear cast shadows in Baltimore on 1 May. Associated Press

Baltimore: Six police officers formally charged over Freddie Gray death

One officer has been indicted for second-degree murder.

A GRAND JURY has indicted six Baltimore police officers over the death of African-American Freddie Gray in their custody last month, a state attorney said.

The six officers were previously charged and are now indicted in connection with the arrest and death of 25-year-old Gray, who succumbed to a serious spinal injury suffered while in the back of a police van in April.

One officer is indicted for second-degree murder.

State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the grand jury found probable cause to formally indict the officers, adding they were expected to appear in court in July.

“Now that the grand jury has also found probable cause to charge the aforementioned officers based upon the evidence, these officers, who are presumed innocent until proven guilty, are now scheduled to be arraigned on July 2nd,” Mosby told reporters.

Mosby announced criminal charges against the officers this month, and there were a few changes on the indictment sheet.

All six officers now face reckless endangerment indictments, while three charges of false imprisonment were dropped.

Four of the officers were indicted for manslaughter, which also appeared in the original charges.

Other indictments against some of the officers include vehicular manslaughter, misconduct in office and assault.

Gray’s death on April 19 sparked days of sometimes violent protests in Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city and an hour’s drive north of the US capital, and in other major US cities.

Protesters torched buildings and police cars and looted stores, prompting Baltimore officials to enforce a city-wide curfew. The violence left dozens of officers injured and led to hundreds of arrests.

The US Department of Justice has launched a federal civil rights investigation into whether police in Baltimore have systematically discriminated against residents.

 - © AFP 2015

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