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A Protester in the 2015 Baltimore Riots is Awarded $75,000 in a Complaint Against Police Officers

    Baltimore County Police DepartmentBaltimore County Police Department (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In May 2015 during Baltimore, Maryland, riots over the death of Freddie Gray, 26-year-old Larry Lomax dared officers with the Baltimore Police Department to arrest him. Captured on video, Lomax balls up his fists and walks toward police officers, screaming for them to arrest him. When he neared some officers, one police officer doused Gray with a spray canister of tear gas intended to disperse crowds 18 feet away. The video then shows police yanking Lomax to the ground by either his shirt collar or his hair. He was handcuffed and arrested. Lomax was allegedly blinded by the spray, and he claimed that burning in his nose and mouth continued throughout the 21 days in which he was jailed. Lomax sued two of the police officers involved in his arrest for alleged battery and use of excessive force.  On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, a jury awarded $75,000 to Lomax.

Officers said Lomax provoked officers with his “look of fury” and his advance towards them.

Many people were arrested during the Baltimore riots and others, in addition to Lomax, have sued officers for alleged injuries.

Freddie Gray was a 25-year-old African American from Baltimore who was arrested on April 12, 2015. While being transported in a police vehicle, he was allegedly seriously injured. According to his family, he suffered three fractured vertebrae and voice box injuries and his spine was 80% severed at his neck. A week after the arrest, Gray died. The police department reportedly confirmed that his death was caused by a spinal injury. Another point of controversy, however, was that the police department released inconsistent and contradictory information with regard to the details of Gray’s arrest and transport.

News of the manner of Gray’s custodial death sparked outrage, rioting over alleged police brutality, vandalism, and unrest that ultimately cost the City of Baltimore $20 million. The rioting lasted from April 18 thru May 3, 2015.

The medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide. Six officers were charged for various offenses in connection with his death. Those charges included second-degree murder. Ultimately, three of the officers were acquitted and charges were dropped against the other three police officers.

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