Baltimore police chased and tackled 25-year-old Freddie Gray a week ago and less than an hour after the encounter, a spinal injury placed him in a coma. Gray has since died, one full week after his encounter with Baltimore police and just hours after protesters in front of Baltimore police headquarters raised signs and hands in the air and cried, “Justice for Freddie.” The police are claiming that at the time of his arrest, Gray was carrying a switchblade knife.
It’s being reported that police may reveal the details of what happened to him at a news conference. There are discrepancies between the police’s timeline and what video footage of the incident shows.
According to CNN, two witnesses recorded Gray’s arrest with their cell phones. Those cell phone videos show Gray on the ground with officers kneeling over him. In the graphic visual, you can hear Gray’s piercing screams. The videos also show officers lifting up handcuffed Gray by his shoulders and dragging him to the back of the van. Reportedly, his legs dangled behind him as he wailed.
Police say they put more restraints on Gray inside the van while surveillance video recorded him conscious and talking. This particular video that would corroborate the police’s story hasn’t been revealed. We wonder why.
At 8:54 a.m., Gray was said to be in the police van, talking. By 9:24 a.m., police called an ambulance to pick up Gray. These 30 minutes are extremely perplexing and Gray’s family attorney William Murphy Jr. demands to know what happened to Gray in that time. According to Murphy, when the ambulance took Gray to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center “he lapsed into a coma, died and was resuscitated.” He stayed in a coma and underwent surgery to save his life. Gray lived for seven more days before succumbing to his injuries.
“What we know is that while in police custody for committing no crime — for which they had no justification for making the arrest except he was a Black man running — his spine was virtually severed, 80 percent severed, in the neck area,” Murphy said. He called Gray’s injuries “catastrophic.”
The police thought Gray had been involved in a crime, but there was no evidence to prove that hunch. Murphy said that the police have still not revealed what they suspected Gray to be guilty of. Baltimore Police Department spokesman, Capt. Eric Kowalczyk claims that officers approached Gray and he fled. Sounds like this is becoming a theme.
Police have not released the incident report or said how many officers participated in Gray’s arrest. The officers have been placed on administrative duty, they said. There will be two criminal investigations, said Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez: one to determine if the arresting officers broke the law and one that pertains to Gray. Of course. We wonder which one of these men will end up being the criminal in this scenario? Our money’s on Gray.
Police officials have attempted to speak with Gray’s relatives to explain the investigation process, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, but they family has not responded. We don’t blame them. It seems that Gray was hunted like cattle and brutalized. The police and banding together to protect their own and the truth, revealing small details and refusing to release tape that recorded most, if not all of the incident.
We’ll keep our eyes and ears on this story. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Gray family. RIP Freddie.