A funeral will be held Monday for 25-year-old Freddie Gray, whose death from an injury he sustained while in custody in the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore became the latest incident sparking questions and protests about interactions between minorities and police in America.
White House officials said Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson will represent President Barack Obama's administration at the funeral. Johnson leads the president's year-old initiative to help address a gap in opportunities for young minority men.
Family, friends and members of the community paid their respects to Gray at a wake Sunday, two weeks after he suffered severe spinal cord injuries following his arrest and a week after he died.
Protesters have been demanding justice in daily demonstrations since Gray's death on April 19. Late Saturday, days of largely peaceful demonstrations turned sporadically violent, with several storefronts and car windshields smashed.
Police arrested at least 34 people.
Six police officers sustained minor injuries, according the a statement from the Baltimore Police Department.
Authorities deployed more than 1,000 law enforcement officials around the city for the largest of daily protests for police accountability since the death of Freddie Gray last Sunday.
Speaking on CBS television Sunday, Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings said the relationship between police and communities is the civil rights cause for this generation. He added that it is still not exactly clear why Gray was arrested and the entire situation is "very upsetting."
The Baltimore man was taken into custody April 12 after initially running from police. He died a week later from what a family attorney said was a nearly severed spinal cord.
How he was grievously injured while in police custody remains unclear. Officials said Gray was not restrained properly while being transported in a police van.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Friday she wants to know why police officers apparently did not follow the policy requiring that all prisoners wear seatbelts while being transported, and why they did not call for medical assistance after Gray asked for it.
The police commissioner said officers were slow to recognize that Gray, who apparently had asthma, needed medical attention.
More information May 1
More information on the case is expected May 1, according to the Baltimore Police Department.
The agency placed six officers who had contact with Gray on paid administrative leave. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether civil rights violations occurred.
Gray's death follows the widely questioned killings of several black men by police in the United States in recent years, raising concerns of systemic discrimination against minorities.