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US police clash with Freddie Gray protesters

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On Thursday night, thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest the killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of severe spinal injuries on April 19, a week after he was arrested and detained by Baltimore police.

Scuffles between police and protesters broke out in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Several protesters were reportedly injured.

Protests in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Oakland, California, are scheduled for Friday, which is also May Day, or International Workers Day.

People protesting the death of Freddie Gray and demanding police accountability move into the streets in the Sandtown neighborhood where Gray was arrested on April 30, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (AFP photo)

Earlier, demonstrators defied a night-time curfew for the third straight night in Baltimore. Several protesters were arrested.

The majority black city has been the site of daily demonstrations since Gray’s death on April 19, as tensions simmer over police brutality and discrimination against African Americans.

Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Thursday the citywide curfew would remain in place after protests turned violent over the death of Gray.

The demonstrators accuse police of racial profiling and are demanding justice for Gray.

An initial police report about investigations into the death of Gray has revealed that officers transporting him made an undisclosed stop while en route to the station. That could have possibly caused his fatal injury.

Protests have spread beyond Baltimore, Maryland. Rallies were held in New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, and California on Wednesday.

At least 150 people have been arrested in the latest demonstrations with more than 120 arrests reported in New York City.

New York police arresting a demonstrator during a protest march in New York City, April 29, 2015 (AFP photo)

Police have said Gray was arrested after he made eye contact with officers and ran away. Officers pushed Gray to the ground, handcuffed him and placed him into a police van.

But so far authorities have not offered a clear explanation as to how the young man sustained a fatal spine injury that led to his death a week after he was arrested.

Date:May 1, 2015

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