Large Crowds Gather For Freddie Gray Protest

Street signs on a light post mark the intersection where Freddie Gray was arrested, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Street signs on a light post mark the intersection where Freddie Gray was arrested, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP)

4:15 p.m.

Protesters filled the streets behind Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles are hosting the Boston Red Sox at 7 p.m.

At least 50 officers are standing guard at the stadium gates, with more officers nearby.

Earlier, at City Hall, Leonard Patterson, 56, said he drove from Manassas, Virginia, to be a part of the protest. Patterson said he decided to come after thinking about his college-aged daughter.

“I’m trying to do everything in my limbs, everything in my power, to make this a better world for her,” said Patterson, holding up his black and white drawing of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 after suffering a fatal injury to his spine while in police custody.

The drawing shows Gray being hoisted from a police van to heaven by two angels.

“I’m here to do what I can. Police brutality is as old as the 1950s, the 1960s. It’s still here,” he said.

___

4 p.m.

At least a thousand protesters are making their way from West Baltimore to City Hall.

The racially diverse crowd is filling at least two full city blocks, and waving signs that read, “racism is a disease, revolution is the cure.”

Marchers paused for a moment of silence in front of Shock Trauma, where Freddie Gray died a week ago from a traumatic spine injury he suffered while in police custody.

At the back of the march is a caravan of at least 20 cars blocking the traffic on the periphery of Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles are hosting the Boston Red Sox.

Protesters and the curious are steadily streaming into the plaza directly across from City Hall. Some are wearing shirts that say “black lives matter” and holding signs that state “I’m not a threat” and “Stop killing us” as music and civil rights speeches are played through large speakers.

Justice Allah, 30, who is with Black Lawyers for Justice, said the goal of the protest is to call attention to the problem of killings by police officers.

“We’re tired of this, what is going on with this police department,” Allah said. “We’re tired of our mayor turning a blind eye.”

___

3:30 p.m.

The police officers’ union says it is “disappointed” in the comments made by Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on the death of Freddie Gray, who died after he was injured in police custody.

A statement from the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 on Saturday called Batts’ comments “politically driven, and in direct contrast to the commissioner’s own request not to jump to any conclusions.”

Batts said Friday that Gray should have been buckled in a seat belt in a police van and officers failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.

___

2:45 p.m.

Several hundred demonstrators marched through the streets of West Baltimore, where a crowd had gathered at the site of the arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Gray died Sunday after sustaining injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police.

Although barriers had been placed around the Western District police station house, marchers who had gathered earlier in the day were able to stand in front of the building.

Outside the station people held yellow and black signs that read, “Community control of police now!” ”Jail killer police!” and “Unite Here!”

1:40 p.m.

Crowds are gathering in Baltimore’s Sandtown neighborhood, where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was fatally injured while in the custody of Baltimore police.

March organizer Malik Shabazz used a bullhorn to urge a crowd near the Western District police station house to join the march.

A much larger crowd is expected to gather at City Hall Saturday afternoon.

Demonstrators have flooded the streets of Baltimore almost every day since Gray’s death. They are demanding answers from the city and the police department about what happened to Gray, and what went wrong.

Gray was arrested on April 12, and died one week later.

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