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Baltimore cops arrest 65 anti-brutality protesters for blocking freeway

The protesters were demanding better accountability in law enforcement, including the creation of a civilian review board to oversee police misconduct investigations.

by VICE News
Jul 17 2016, 2:15pm

Image via BmoreDoc/Twitter

Baltimore cops arrested 65 marchers who blocked part of a freeway during an anti-police brutality protest on Saturday night.

Ten of the 65 people arrested were juveniles, and four people were still in jail as of Sunday morning, according to Baltimore Bloc, the group that organized the protest.

Video from the protest showed demonstrators forming a line across Interstate 81, blocking traffic. One of the organizers wore a t-shirt saying "I am Freddie Gray," a reference to the 25-year-old man who died last April from spinal cord injuries after riding in the back of a Baltimore police van.

Related: Baltimore cop who drove van that carried Freddie Gray acquitted on all charges

As protesters were arrested and led away on Sunday, they chanted "This is what democracy looks like," "Back off bad cops, we want freedom," and "No justice, no peace."

Six police officers have been charged with wrongdoing in Gray's death, but two have been acquitted and one's case ended in a mistrial. The verdict in a fourth case is scheduled to be announced on Monday.

Related: Baltimore cop sues prosecutor who charged him in Freddie Gray case

ABC News reported that the organizers of Saturday's protest said they were marching to demand better accountability in law enforcement, including the creation of a civilian review board to oversee police misconduct investigations. They also said they wanted to redistribute 10 percent of the city's police budget toward community programs.

The Baltimore Police Department said the protesters were warned "multiple times" to stop blocking the road. "Numerous individuals ran onto the Jones Falls Expressway (I-81), locked arms and blocked traffic," police said in a statement.

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