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Six Baltimore officers indicted by grand jury over custody-death of Freddie Gray

All six officers charged in the US police-custody death of an unarmed black man have been indicted by a grand jury. Freddie Gray died after suffering severe spinal injuries, sparking demonstrations in Baltimore.

State attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the grand jury decision in Baltimore on Thursday. She said Freddie Gray's neck was broken because he was injured while being handcuffed, shackled and placed head-first into a police van. Mosby said Gray's pleas for medical attention were repeatedly ignored.

Gray had committed no crime. He was arrested on April 12 and died in a hospital a week later. He became a symbol of what protesters said was police brutality against black people.

The indictments were very similar to the charges Mosby announced three weeks ago. The charges ranged from second-degree "depraved heart" murder to assault.

"As is often the case, during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence," Mosby said.

Gray was arrested in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore. According to court documents, he made eye contact with a police officer and took off running. He was apprehended two blocks away and arrested for possession of a knife which Officer Garrett Miller wrote in charging documents was illegal under a city ordinance.

Mosby said the arrest was unlawful because the knife was legal under state law.

Charges

Officer Edward Nero and Miller were indicted on second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

The driver of the transport van, Caesar Goodson, faces manslaughter and second-degree "depraved heart" murder. Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice and officer William Porter were each charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

In violation of police policy, none of the officers secured Gray's seatbelt in the van. Soon after he was placed in the van.

Goodson stopped to secure him with leg irons because he had become "irate," police said.

After several more stops, including one to pick up a second passenger, the van arrived at the Western District station house. Gray was found to be non-responsive.

The officers will be arraigned on July 2.

jm/bw (Reuters, AP)

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