Several people in the US have sued the Baltimore Police Department over ‘brutality’ relating to the unrest following a 2015 police killing of a young African American.
Six men who were arrested during last year’s unrest but cleared of all charges have filed a police brutality lawsuit against the Baltimore Police, nearly two dozen officers and the state of Maryland.
The plaintiffs claim they were beaten, pepper-sprayed, and abused during the unrest in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray last April.
The plaintiffs include Larry Lomax, Albert Tubman and Roosevelt Johnson, the latter two say they were trying to avoid the protests when they were wrongly targeted and beaten by police with batons, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Other plaintiffs are Eric Glass, another city man who says he was filming police when he was wrongly targeted by officers, thrown to the ground and kicked and punched; Andrew Fischer of the news outlet News2Share, who says he was working as a journalist when he was arrested for violating the curfew, from which media were exempted; and Myreq Williams, who says police pulled him off a public bus one night after a protest.
Freddie Gray died in police custody under disputed circumstances. His death sparked nationwide protests.
On the day he was buried, the city erupted in chaos, looting and arson. Governor Larry Horgan deployed the National Guard, and Rawlings-Blake established a weeklong curfew.
The Baltimore Police Department and the state’s attorney have both declined to comment on the lawsuits.
Police brutality has become a major concern across the nation in recent years.
The US Justice Department is under pressure to review the use of brute force by law enforcement officers.
A recent study has found that almost half of the people who die at the hands of the US police have some kind of mental or physical disability. The findings also reveal that most of the victims have been killed in situations where lethal force was not needed.