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Cummings: Police must speak up about Freddie Gray

Rep. Elijah Cummings said Wednesday the Baltimore Police Department requires a "Ferguson-type" study by the U.S. Department of Justice to address systemic problems and that police officers must speak up if they have information related to how Freddie Gray died.

"What I'm saying to police is, 'They do not have a right to stay silent,'" Cummings said in a CNN interview Wednesday morning.

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He said the department's official statement that Gray's arrest did not involve the use of force was "ridiculous."

"They say it happened without force," Cummings said. "It's ridiculous."

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A police report reveals that Gray was stopped April 12 because he "fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence" and that officers placed him under arrest after a knife was found clipped to the inside of his front pants pocket. "The defendant was arrested without force or incident the report stated. "During transport to Western District via wagon transport the defendant suffered a medical emergency and was immediately transported to Shock Trauma via medic."

Gray, 25, died on Sunday. The Department of Justice is conducting a criminal and civil rights investigation into Gray's death. The department is also conducting a two-year collaborative review that started in January at the invitation of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Batts.

Cummings said he was confident that the police would provide more answers by May 1, the deadline that Batts set for the department's investigation. He said he hoped the federal investigation will provide detailed analysis of systemic issues in the Baltimore Police Department, similar to the critical report the justice department produced about Ferguson, where protests erupted after a young black man was killed by a police officer.

"We will have transparency," Cummings told CNN. "Who will speak for Freddie Gray? I want to make sure [Gray's relatives] are treated fairly."

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