The wake for Freddie Gray, the black 25-year-old who recently died from injuries he received while in police custody, took place Sunday hours after a night of protests in Baltimore concluded. His family doesn't want violence, but "somebody is going to have to pay" for his death, the Associated Press reported local pastor Jamal Bryant told his congregation at an earlier church service.
Gray was detained April 12 on weapons charges, according to CNN. He and another man had run from police, and when officers caught him they held Gray down. A cell phone video shows officers putting Gray in a van as he asks for medical help, which he did not receive until 30 minutes later. Gray died of a spinal cord injury on April 19.
At his wake Sunday, mourners gathered to pay respects and raise awareness about police brutality. Outside the Vaughn Green East funeral home, visitors held up signs that read “We remember Freddie,” according to AP.
News of Gray's death set off another wave of protests linked to police officers’ treatment of black suspects, which has become a controversial issue in recent months following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in Staten Island, N ew York, and Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina. Demonstrations related to Gray's death began Saturday in Baltimore and initially were peaceful. But then people began rioting, attacking police cruisers and damaging convenience stores. USA Today reported more than 30 people were arrested, and six officers were injured.
“Mr. Gray died a week ago. And I think the thing that upset so many people was the fact that here’s a young man ... we still don’t know exactly why he was arrested,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told CBS. “A lot of people are very, very frustrated as to trying to figure out what happened here, and it’s very upsetting.”
In response to the protests, Baltimore police tweeted that they would deploy extra officers through next week. Gray's funeral is scheduled for Monday.