Six men arrested during the unrest prompted by Freddie Gray's death in police custody sued the Baltimore Police Department, the state and more than a dozen officers Tuesday, alleging that they were beaten, abused and deprived of their constitutionally protected right to protest.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the department, the state of Maryland and 22 police officers, as well as former police chief Anthony Batts, who was fired last July and heavily criticized for his response to the unrest.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith and Christine Tobar, public information officer for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, declined to comment citing pending litigation, NBC Washington reports.

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