Baltimore police turn over report on investigation to state attorneys

1 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Baltimore police turn over report on investigation to state attorneys.

Freddie Gray’s spinal injury was caused when he slammed into the back of a Baltimore police van, apparently breaking his neck, a local ABC affiliate reports. BALTIMORE — Baltimore police said Thursday that they have turned over a much-anticipated report of their investigation into the death of Freddie Gray to prosecutors.Baltimore community leaders yesterday expressed fury at police claims that a black man who died of spinal injuries while in custody had injured himself.Freddie Gray did not die as the result of injuries sustained during his arrest earlier this month, a police investigation found, according to law enforcement officials who were briefed on the matter.

Baltimore 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. A leaked police document is believed to have claimed that Freddie Gray, 25, whose death after being arrested for allegedly having a switchblade knife triggered America’s latest race riots, had intentionally tried to harm himself.

Many questions remain over Gray’s death, with some speculating he was subjected to a so-called “rough ride”, where a prisoner is not placed in a seatbelt and is then thrown violently around a vehicle being driven erratically. The store owner, who speaks Korean, told The Associated Press that two police officers visited his store during the week of April 20 and later made a copy of the surveillance video. The report comes as police revealed a previously undisclosed stop made by the van after Gray’s arrest had been discovered by investigators, and senior officers announced they had completed a criminal inquiry into his death. Before Mr Gray – who was allegedly found to be carrying a switchblade – was put in the van, he asked officers for an inhaler, but did not receive one.

Batts said that even though the department has turned over its report so far to the prosecutors it is still an active, open investigation that police are working. The video footage of the previously undisclosed van stop was filmed by cameras above the entrance to CR Grocery, a shop on the corner of the two streets mentioned by police. Jung Hwang, the owner of the shop, told the Guardian on Thursday that detectives visited him one day last week following Gray’s death and appeared to take copies of the footage that was stored on his laptop computer. Eric Kowalczyk (koh-WAHL’-chek) says 201 people were arrested during the riots and 106 of them were subsequently released after 48 hours because specific charges couldn’t be filed.

However the shop was then looted during Monday’s unrest, said the shop owner, who is Korean and speaks little English. “The laptop was stolen,” he said. The report from the police to prosecutors comes as Batts has admitted flaws in the way officers handled Gray after they chased him through a West Baltimore housing project and arrested him. The man, who said he could not see Gray, allegedly told investigators that he “heard banging against the walls” of the van and believed that Gray may have been “intentionally trying to injure himself.” (RELATED: This Report Could Change The Freddie Gray Narrative) Gray’s family and protesters have alleged that Gray was either the victim of police brutality or of police negligence. Groceries were strewn around the back room of Hwang’s shop on Thursday as he and friends tried to Cables hung from the two surveillance cameras, which had apparently been disconnected.

Mosby will now decide whether or not to bring criminal prosecutions. “We have exhausted every lead at this time but that does not mean that the investigation is over. If new information or direction is given by the state attorney we will follow it,” Batts said. “I understand the frustration and I understand a sense of urgency. The mayor says she tried to reform the police department even before Gray’s death and the agency has made improvements, lowering the number of police shootings and excessive force complaints. Batts said the officer driving the van described Gray as “irate.” The search warrant application says Gray “continued to be combative in the police wagon.” The driver made another stop and asked an officer to help check on Gray. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement Thursday that she has received the investigative file from police, and her office has also been conducting its own independent investigation.

Offering no indication of when she planned to announce a decision, Mosby asked those awaiting it to “trust the process of the justice system” while remaining “patient and peaceful”. On Thursday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said of the police turning over their investigative report to prosecutors, “I’m going to do everything I can to support the state’s attorney and the Department of Justice as they further their investigation so that we can have justice for Freddie Gray.” The mayor later posted on Twitter, “The family of Mr. We will remain vigilant on this path to justice.” On CNN, she seemed to lash out at people who have criticized her response to the crisis. “The record is clear. The prosecutor has not given a timeline for when she will decide on whether to charge the six officers who have been suspended during the investigation of Gray’s death.

At a 2:30 p.m. briefing, Baltimore police spokesman Eric Kowalczyk said 98 officers have reported injuries since the unrest began, 43 who required medical treatment. Some groups, including CASA de Maryland and members of the Baltimore United for Change coalition, are asking that more of the investigation into Gray’s arrest be made open to public scrutiny. “It seems impossible for them not to release something,” said Kim Propeack, director of CASA in Action, the political arm of the immigrant advocacy organization. “The public has a right to know the details of the investigation.” 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. Kowalczyk said nine adults and two juveniles were arrested for overnight curfew violations, and the police presence on Thursday was largely the same as the day before. In the West Baltimore neighborhood that was ground zero for much of the protests and riots, a resident named Wanda, who declined to give her last name, was waiting for a bus. It didn’t come the previous day; her brother picked her up and drove her to her job as a housekeeper at a senior-living community in Catonsville, Md.

Just a mile west of the intersection of West North avenue and Pennsylvania — the epicenter of Mondays violent protest — there was no police or national guard presence at all. A lively dice game was taking place in front of the shuttered Upscale Beauty & Discount Store which sits next to two hair braiding salons and a pawn shop. Sheila Miller, 54, who grew up in the neighborhood known to the locals as Walbrook Junction, stood outside of Twenty-Four Seven Bail Bonds with the manager, who didn’t want to be identified. Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are investigating burglaries of a discount store and a cellphone business near where protesters took to the streets for a second night.

They both expressed anger at the police for not responding to rioting in their neighborhood and at the young people who took part in the looting. “If you’re mad at the police then go down and tear up the police station,” Miller said. “Why destroy all these livelihoods? Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1JCb12T ) says Wednesday night’s break-ins at a Family Dollar store and STL Cordless took place a night after looting, fires and gunfire broke out during demonstrations in the St. Several dozen people marched down Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue on Wednesday night to protest the recent death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while he was in Baltimore police custody. Where are you supposed to shop?” “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 demonstrators also referenced last summer’s fatal shooting by a white Ferguson police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed.

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. Next door to the CVS in West Baltimore that was looted and burned on Monday, about 60 senior citizens who live in a building there worried about how they would get their medication, food and toiletries. A Ferguson Police Department spokesman says three people were shot during protests Tuesday night and four police cars were damaged by rocks and chunks of asphalt thrown by demonstrators.

Dozens of police officers moved in with plastic handcuffs and began making arrests while officers with batons pushed the crowd back onto the sidewalk. Civic leaders declared victory when the intersection at North and Pennsylvania avenues had been cleared of all but a few stragglers 15 minutes after the beginning of Baltimore’s curfew. “We are very proud of what has happened here tonight.

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