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Video Captures Freddie Gray Protester in Baltimore Pepper-Sprayed, Manhandled by Officer

A Baltimore officer was captured on video pepper-spraying a man, in a "f--k the police" shirt, but doesn't show what happened before the incident.
/ Source: NBC News

A police officer in Baltimore was captured on video Saturday night pepper-spraying and taking down a man — wearing a "F--k The Police" t-shirt.

The video doesn't show what happened immediately before the unidentified protester was doused with pepper spray, which caused him to stagger backward.

He is then pegged to the ground by another officer, handcuffed and dragged to the sidewalk. Three officers picked him up by his legs and arms and carry him to the side of a building where they poured water on his face. Police called for a medic after the incident, according to The Associated Press.

It is unclear whether the officer who originally sprayed the man is a Baltimore Police Department officer. The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

The video was taken at about ten minutes after the curfew had gone into effect at 10 p.m. on Saturday night. Police could be heard saying, "If you don’t have your IDs, you’re subject for arrest."

When police gave the order, the man didn't clear the streets. He had been seen by reporters screaming at police and the media all day.

The curfew was lifted Sunday morning by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who said she did not want the curfew in effect "a single day longer than was necessary." The curfew had lasted five nights.

Videos, captured by onlookers and protesters with cellphones and the media, have given the world a firsthand look at the protests and riots that followed Gray's death. The looting, the scuffles and the peaceful moments have all been broadcast on social media, as has become the norm when cities erupt over incidents of police using force.

And video of the initial incidents often play a role in sparking the outcries.

Kevin Moore, a friend of Freddie Gray, who recorded the arrest of the 25-year-old on his cellphone, said if he hadn't captured the footage, he fears Gray's death would have been "another life swept under the rug."

Moore recorded Gray being pinned to the ground and loaded into a police van by three Baltimore police officers on April 12. Gray died a week later, and on Friday, six officers were charged in his death.

"I hear him screaming," Moore told NBC affiliate WBAL on Friday. "Those screams from that video — it haunts me every night.

"I think about it as being in the right place at the right time. You know what I mean? If I hadn't been there, these guys would have gotten away with it — another life swept under the rug," he said.


— Elisha Fieldstadt and Frank Thorp V