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Freddie Gray Protests Spread Beyond Baltimore, 100 Arrested in New York

More than 100 people were arrested in New York after thousands rallied in coast-to-coast protests over the death of Freddie Gray who died in police custody in Baltimore.
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/ Source: NBC News

Protests over the death of Freddie Gray stretched coast to coast late Wednesday, with thousands of people across the country rallying for the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.

Police said more than 100 people were arrested in New York, and there were similar rallies in Boston, Seattle, San Diego and Denver.

In New York, several hundred people gathered in Union Square and marched in different directions, picking up demonstrators along the way and growing to more than 1,000, according to NBC New York.

In Denver, police said that they used pepper spray and that 11 people were detained for offenses including “resisting police, disobedience to lawful orders, obstructing roadways, and interference.”

Nikea Ramsey, whose brother was shot and killed in an encounter with Boston police in 2012, told The Associated Press: "Me and my family, we stand with Baltimore. We stand with Ferguson. This is too much and it's getting out of hand."

In Baltimore itself, thousands crammed around City Hall ahead of a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. overnight curfew imposed after riots broke out Monday following Gray's funeral. More than 3,000 National Guard, Maryland State Police and other law enforcement officers were involved in maintaining the curfew.

The overnight rallies came after Baltimore police announced that their report into Gray’s death wouldn't be immediately made public.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts had set a deadline of Friday to file the report with state investigators. Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said Wednesday night that the report would remain closed to protect the integrity of the inquiry.

Meanwhile, dozens of people arrested in earlier violent demonstrations in Baltimore were being released early Wednesday evening because police were unable to complete their paperwork in time, the state public defender's office said.

Many of those detained began streaming out of the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.

The releases were the result of a logjam for police who were scrambling to pull the necessary paperwork to file charges at the same time they were trying to keep peace on the city's streets, Kowalczyk said.

Batts, the police commissioner, told reporters Wednesday night: "We've come up on a timeline. We are releasing them with future prosecution in mind. ... We're not giving up on them."

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, protesters planned Thursday afternoon to conduct a "Philly is Baltimore" demonstration at city hall. They've drawn parallels between Gray’s death and Brandon Tate-Brown, a local man shot during a traffic stop in December. The district attorney is not pressing charges, saying evidence indicates that Tate-Brown was reaching into his car for a loaded pistol, but a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that officers planted the gun.

Becky Bratu contributed to this report.