Lee Patterson is among protesters outside the courthouse on Wednesday in Baltimore for the first hearing for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

The number of protesters on the streets of Baltimore grew quickly Wednesday as hearings began in the Freddie Gray police brutality case.

A handful of people were out early with signs near the courthouse. At times, the group shouted, “Black Lives Matter.” One protester who spoke said, “I could have been Freddie Gray on that day.”

Protesters gathered outside the Baltimore courthouse where the first hearing in the case of six city police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray is to get underway. (McKenna Ewen/The Washington Post)

[Who was Freddie Gray?]

By 9:30 a.m., nearly 100 people had moved the protest to Pratt Street in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor.

[Who are the six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case?]

Police in riot gear were seen arresting one man and placing him into a police van.


A man is arrested after he and several other protesters blocked various intersections in downtown Baltimore. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Baltimore police tweeted that they had arrested one person. “No taser deployment,” the Twitter message read.

The protesters came out Wednesday as the first circuit court hearing began for six Baltimore city police officers charged in the arrest and death of Gray.

Gray’s arrest and death in April sparked riots that prompted leaders to call in the National Guard.

Gray died from a severe spinal injury he suffered while in a police transport van. His case set off a national debate about the death of young African-American men in police custody.