(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/22/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, announced today that it joins the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in welcoming news that the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Gray died Sunday at University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma Center as a result of injuries sustained while in police custody in Baltimore City.
Autopsy results indicate that Gray, who appeared to be previously healthy, died as a result of severe injuries to his spinal cord. Eyewitness accounts and video footage indicate Gray did not resist arrest and did not pose a threat to the safety of the six officers involved, who are now suspended as the Baltimore City Police Department conducts an internal investigation.
CAIR recently issued an action alert during the 2015 session of the Maryland General Assembly seeking reform of Maryland police officers' bill of rights. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has sought stricter state laws regarding law enforcement accountability, but with little success.
“The numerous unanswered questions around the disturbing nature of Mr. Gray's death point to an urgent need for a federal investigation to independently determine the facts and to take appropriate action based on that investigation,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
– END –
Contact: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062, firstname.lastname@example.org