freddie gray

*The six Baltimore police officers suspended in the investigation of a black man who died after his arrest, were identified by city officials Tuesday.

They have been suspended with pay while authorities investigate the death of Freddie Gray, who was handcuffed and placed in a transport van. At some point during his 30-minute ride in the van, his legs were shackled after an officer said he became “irate,” authorities have said.

Gray was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and died of a “significant spinal injury” on Sunday — a week after his arrest, Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said Monday.

Exactly how he was injured and what happened in the van is still not known.

The suspended officers were identified as:

• Lt. Brian Rice, 41, with the department since 1997.
• Sgt. Alicia White, 30, with the department since 2010.
• Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, who has been there since 1999.
• Officer William Porter, 25, with the department since 2012.
• Officer Edward Nero, 29, with the department since 2012.
• Officer Garrett Miller, 26, with the department since 2012.

Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 after police “made eye contact” with him and another man in an area known for drug activity, and the two men started running, authorities said.

Lt. Brian Rice was the senior officer involved, and officials have said it was a lieutenant on the scene, part of a team of officers patrolling on bicycles, who made the eye contact with two men.

Officer Garrett Miller filled out the “statement of charges” for arresting Gray, accusing him of carrying a switchblade knife, clipped to the inside of his pants pocket. Officer Miller wrote, “The defendant was arrested without force or incident.”

Baltimore officials have moved quickly to release information, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts have promised a thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Gray’s death as they have appealed for calm.

The lawyer for Gray’s family said he believes the police had no reason to stop him in the first place.

“They’ve made concessions on lack of probable cause,” attorney Billy Murphy said. “Running while black is not probable cause. Felony running doesn’t exist, and you can’t arrest someone for looking you in the eye.”

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said the reason for Gray’s stop is “a question we have to dig into.”

Gray’s death has prompted daily protests and a vigil was planned Tuesday evening at the spot where he was arrested.

Police on Monday released a more detailed timeline of how Gray was arrested and transported.

It revealed that Gray was placed in leg irons after an officer felt he was becoming “irate” in the back of the transport van, and that the van made several stops on its way to the police station, even picking up another prisoner in an unrelated case, after Gray had asked for medical attention several times.

The death comes six months after Baltimore officials released a plan to reduce police brutality and misconduct. The plan followed a request by city officials to the U.S. Justice Department to review police policies and procedures.

Kim Deachilla, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said a law firm that contracts with the union is representing them.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OPENS PROBE

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the death of Gray.

“The Department of Justice has been monitoring the developments in Baltimore, MD, regarding the death of Freddie Gray,” spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in a statement. “Based on preliminary information, the Department of Justice has officially opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violation occurred.”

The announcement came minutes after several members of Maryland’s congressional delegation have asked the U.S. Justice Department to open a criminal and civil rights investigation into the death of Freddie Gray.