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May 20, 2015

New video surfaces showing Freddie Gray arrest in Baltimore

WASHINGTON - A new video has surfaced revealing a key part of the arrest of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore black man whose death from injuries he sustained while in police custody led to days of protests and a federal investigation.

The video, shot by a bystander and posted on The Baltimore Sun's website on Wednesday, shows officers putting Gray in leg shackles and handcuffs before placing him back in a police van head first and on his stomach.

Gray died on April 19 from spinal injuries suffered during his arrest a week earlier on April 12. His death sparked protests and rioting in the largely black city and heightened national tensions over police treatment of minorities.

Six officers have been charged in Gray's death, including one count of murder. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Baltimore Police Department for brutality and civil rights violations.

Officers arrested Gray in west Baltimore for possessing a switchblade knife. They put him in a transport van without securing him with a seatbelt, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said this month in announcing charges.

The video lasts a few seconds and shows the van stopped a block away from the arrest site. Gray is halfway out of the wagon, his stomach flat on the floor, and his legs hanging off the back.

He does not move as four officers stand over him and place shackles around his ankles. Mosby said he also was put in disposable handcuffs.

She has said that following the stop, Gray sustained a neck injury from being handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained inside the police wagon.

A city surveillance camera recorded part of the scene but did not show Gray at the back of the van, the Sun reported.

The surveillance video was among those that the Baltimore Police Department released on its YouTube website last month. It has since been taken down.

Police did not respond for a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Mosby had no immediate comment about the new video.

Baltimore has been hit by an upsurge in violence since Gray's death. The city had recorded 96 homicides for 2015 by Tuesday, compared with 69 for the same period last year, and added one overnight, according to the police Twitter feed.

Baltimore has posted 35 murders since Gray's death. That count includes Gray and a 2014 death that was ruled a homicide.