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Baltimore Braces: City Is ‘Ready’ for 2nd Hearing in Freddie Gray Trials

© AP Photo / Baltimore Police Department via AP, FileThese undated photos provided by the Baltimore Police Department, show Baltimore police officers, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray. A grand jury indicted the six officers, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday, May 21, 2015.
These undated photos provided by the Baltimore Police Department, show Baltimore police officers, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray. A grand jury indicted the six officers, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday, May 21, 2015. - Sputnik International
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At a news conference on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced that the city’s law enforcement is ready should there be protests following Thursday’s hearing on whether the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will receive a requested change of venue.

A protest is scheduled for 8:30 AM outside the courthouse where a judge will hear arguments on whether the trials should be moved from the city of Baltimore, where a massive uprising took place following the 25-year-old’s death.

Protesters block traffic on Pratt Street as protests moved into the street on the first day of pretrial motions for six police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland September 2, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Davis stated that all requested leave has been cancelled for officers so that all hands can be on deck if needed. This measure was also taken for the hearing last week, where a motion was accepted to allow the officers to stand trial separately. One protester was arrested during a protest that day.

The department has stated that they will have a “soft” presence at the protest, but will have riot gear and heavy hands at the ready if need be.

The court hearings come nearly four months after Gray died of spinal cord injuries on April 19 that he sustained in police custody.

Following Gray’s death, riots swept through Baltimore during which the authorities declared a curfew and deployed the Maryland National Guard. Police arrested more than 250 people during the week of unrest.

In May, a grand jury indicted the six Baltimore police officers, and they now face charges on counts of depraved-heart murder, assault, manslaughter, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.

Earlier this week, the Baltimore city board unanimously approved a $6.4 million settlement between the city and the family of Gray.

At least two media outlets have begun spreading false reports and unsubstantiated rumors that Freddie Gray had pre-existing injuries that would vindicate the Baltimore police force - and many more are unquestioningly reposting them - all while official sources remain silent. - Sputnik International
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"Remember Rodney King when venues were changed? We’ve seen some of these cases in the past," Sharon Black of advocacy group Peoples Power Assemblies told Sputnik. "Though the crime took place in Baltimore City, we think justice will be best served in our city and not removed."

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