Baltimore Police Finish Inquiry Into Death of Freddie Gray

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Humiliate people for long enough and a wildness bursts out’: Why I stand by Baltimore’s rioters.

Someone leaked a police document to the Washington Post claiming he was trying to hurt himself inside a police van—minutes after he asked for medical assistance. After going through a second relatively calm night, Baltimore police turned over their findings into the death of Freddie Gray to the state prosecutor, a day earlier than their self-imposed deadline. So you have to wonder why on earth a man who had just asked for help would then try to hurt himself—as the second prisoner supposedly concluded after he was picked up at the next stop a few minutes later. Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference Thursday that his department turned over the report a day early because he understood the public’s frustration and the urgency in the case, which he called tragic. The report will not yet be made public, however. “This does not mean the investigation is over,” Batts said, noting that the police task force completed the investigation a day ahead of the deadline he set.

But he could listen and he told police he heard Gray “banging against the walls” and could tell that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself.” It isn’t clear how much other evidence backs up the prisoner’s account of the 30-minute van ride. Somebody leaked the sealed document for a reason, just as the police were preparing to turn over the results of their investigation to the Baltimore state’s attorney. The report comes as officials are worried about another flash point in the city of 600,000, which saw riots and looting on Monday, clamped down by curfews over the past two day. If new direction is given by the state attorney, we will obey it.” Gray, whose family attorney alleged that he suffered fatal injuries while in transport under police custody, died seven days after his arrest.

There is nothing to stop the police department from also publicly disclosing its major findings, as it largely did after its initial investigation soon after Gray’s death. On Thursday morning, streets in Baltimore were relatively quiet as people returned to work and their normal routines – even though there was still a heavy presence of law enforcement and media. Baltimore Police on Thursday revealed the location of a second of three stops during his transport and explained that new evidence of that stop was discovered recently during the investigation, Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. The possibility that Gray’s death could be the result of self-harm would be politically incendiary after more than a week of disturbances and a citywide curfew. “If they come out and tell the whole story,” she said of Baltimore’s politicians, “what do they do about the stuff that” had happened since Gray’s death. “There’s been a riot, there’s a curfew” and it cannot all be for naught, she told CNN on condition of appearing on-camera with her face blurred. Police have already acknowledged that department policy was breached when Gray was placed in the van but not buckled into a seat belt and when officers failed to get medical care in a timely fashion for the 25-year-old African American.

As the curfew lifted at 5 a.m., it was quiet at an intersection in West Baltimore near a CVS store that had been considered ground zero for much of the protests and riots. A group of five workers waited for a bus to take them to their jobs, and a half-dozen police officers strode down the street together as their shift ended, with another six officers replacing them minutes later. Nationwide protests are expected to continue on Thursday night, after peaceful demonstrations rolled through Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Denver and Seattle on Wednesday. Gray also could have simply been frantic, and he had kept banging loud enough for the police to stop a second time five minutes later, and call for a cop to check on him in the back.

On the day of his death, he saw cops patrolling a neighborhood known as a drug market and his lengthy rap sheet meant he was well-known to the cops who pursued him. For the past several days, bus drivers have taken detours around troubled areas. “I’ve been catching cabs for days, and I can’t really afford it,” said Tammie Johnson, who does eviction paperwork for a company in East Baltimore.

The Post said it was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety. Construction worker Grady Watson, 52, returned to his job site near the main rioting area where he is part of a crew that is building a senior-housing complex. We’ve got to keep the peace.” Skirmishes broke out on the ground despite Cummings’ efforts, as protesters initially refused to go home when a curfew that went into effect on Tuesday began its second night. They’re what have now come to be known as Baltimore’s “peaceful protests.” After Sunday we start to see the phrases “peaceful protest” and “riots.” We start to see the word “thugs.” A black mother sees her son protesting and grabs and hits him.

Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12, then taken to a hospital, where he died in a coma a week later. “We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Downs said. “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr. But some officials have said they are worried that there is confusion among the public that there will be some sort of official report or “verdict” released to the public on Friday. Because if we remove the “riots” and the “peaceful protests,” if we remove the “thuggery” and “criminals” this black woman hitting her child would be called an animal.

At least we already know enough to reach a conclusion: If it sounded like Gray sought to injure himself in that van, it was after he had been making those very same sounds to signal he needed help. Jayne Miller, an investigative reporter for WBAL, refuted the report during an appearance on msnbc’s “All In” on Wednesday night. “According to our sources by the time that prisoner is loaded into that van Freddie Gray was unresponsive. Cummings (D-Md.) grabbed a bullhorn and marched around the intersection, saying repeatedly, “Let’s go home.” The 30-year-old lifelong Baltimore resident works as a forklift operator and said the “people of Baltimore won’t give up until there is justice.” At a Wednesday evening news conference, Batts, the police commissioner, said 16 more individuals were arrested. Keith Alexander, Lynh Bui, John Woodrox Cox, Mary Pat Flaherty, Ashley Halsey III, Joe Heim, Arelis Hernandez, Dan Morse, Peter Hermann and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.

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