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Freddie Gray mourners share anguish and determination at Baltimore funeral

Thousands turned out Monday for the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a Baltimore resident who died in police custody earlier this month, adding to the national anger and debate over police use of force. Gray’s death has sparked daily protests, which had been peaceful until Saturday, when some of the crowd broke away to vandalize cars and storefronts. Judy Woodruff reports.

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    Now to Baltimore, where a day that began with the somber quiet of a funeral turned into melees in the streets.

    It all revolved around the death in police custody of Freddie Gray. Trouble erupted at mid-afternoon, as helmeted police with riot clubs confronted hundreds of youth near a mall. It grew into running street battles, with protesters throwing stones and attacking police cars. Officials said at least seven officers were hurt.

  • CAPT. ERIC KOWALCZYK, Baltimore Police Department:

    It is a group of lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of the people that live in that community or the safety of our police officers.


    The violence was a far cry from the scene earlier.

    Mourners streamed into the New Shiloh Baptist Church this morning, many overcome with grief for Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old died April 19 in police custody, fueling a nationwide debate that loomed over today's service.

  • REV. HAROLD CARTER, New Shiloh Baptist Church:

    As the city, as the nation, in fact, as the world looks in, we are ever mindful of the reason that we are here, that a family has had and is yet standing on the banks of the Jordan, metaphorically speaking, to wave farewell to a son, to their loved one, whose life we now celebrate in memory.


    Some 2,500 people listened as church leaders and relatives of Gray spoke of their anguish and determination.

    RICHARD SHIPLEY, Stepfather of Freddie Gray: For you brother, I promise you this. I will go on with my life and make you proud. I will always hold you in my heart. I promise you I will be missing you every day until the end of time.


    The reason I want you not to cry, is because Freddie's death is not in vain. After this day, we're going to keep on marching. After this day, we're going to keep demanding justice. After this day, we're going to keep exposing our culture of corruption.

    After this day, we're going to keep monitoring our own neighborhoods. Whatever you do, don't cry.


    Gray's death has galvanized daily protests in Baltimore, with thousands giving voice to their outrage. They have overwhelmed city streets.

    And they'd remained mostly peaceful, until the end of Saturday's march. Violence erupted when some in the crowd broke away to vandalize cars and storefronts downtown; 35 people were arrested and six police officers were hurt.

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake condemned the violence.


    This is something that is unacceptable to me and it's something that is unacceptable to everyone who lives in and loves our city.


    An internal investigation into Gray's arrest and death is expected to be finished by the end of the week. In the meantime, six police officers have been suspended with pay.

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