Hillary Clinton on Monday called for answers over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19, a week after he was rushed to the hospital with a fatal spinal cord injury while under police custody.
Clinton, who's considered the leading Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential race, tweeted:
Tonight I am praying for peace & safety for all in Baltimore, & for Freddie Gray's family - his death is a tragedy that demands answers. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 28, 2015
Baltimore police are conducting an investigation into Gray's death that's expected to conclude on May 1. So far, police have refused to reveal many details in the case — including how Gray received the spinal cord injury and whether the police officers who arrested him caused it.
With few answers, Baltimore has been roiled by escalating protests since Gray's arrest. Riots broke out on April 27, after Gray's funeral, when demonstrators began looting and throwing objects at police, injuring at least 15 officers. In response to the violence, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a citywide 10 pm curfew that will last at least one week, starting on April 28.
Clinton's statement is notable not only because it acknowledges the violence, but because it goes a step further and recognizes that the protesters' anger is rooted in legitimate questions about Gray's death. Those questions are particularly pertinent in Baltimore, which has a history of police brutality — a September 2014 report by the Baltimore Sun's Mark Puente found the city had paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits that claimed officers beat up alleged suspects.