BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray will face criminal charges, including second-degree murder and manslaughter, in the death of the 25-year-old black man, the city's chief prosecutor said on Friday.
Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney for Baltimore City, told a news conference that Gray, who died a week after his April 12 arrest, suffered a critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed inside a moving police van. She said officers failed to provide medical attention to Gray even though he asked for it on at least two occasions.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the officers charged in the case, she said. In addition to murder and manslaughter, charges include assault, misconduct and false imprisonment.
Representatives for the police union and Gray's family were not immediately available for comment.
"We put all our resources to make sure we were pursuing and leading where the facts took us in this case, which was to pursue justice," Mosby said, a day after the Baltimore Police Department turned over findings from its internal investigation.
Mosby said the Maryland chief medical examiner ruled Gray's death a homicide. The 25-year-old Gray was no longer breathing when he was finally removed from the van, Mosby said.
A crowd of people who gathered to listen to the prosecutor's announcement broke into applause and drivers honked their car horns after she finished speaking. Some of the onlookers chanted: “Justice!” “Justice for Freddie!” “Thank you Ms Mosby."
"The people of America give me hope. People like this district attorney give me hope," said Jay Morrison, a youth leader who attended the news conference.
Mosby, a 35-year-old African-American who took office in January, is facing the biggest test of her short career in deciding to bring charges against the officers.
In Ferguson and New York last year, grand juries decided against charging officers who were involved in the deaths of two unarmed black men. The news triggered rioting in the St. Louis suburb and days of protest marches in New York and other cities.