Freddie Gray’s neck was snapped while he was riding in Baltimore police van …

1 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fox News gone wild: The ludicrous stories about how Freddie Gray injured himself.

Citing sources, WJLA-TV said the Medical Examiner found that Gray’s “catastrophic injury” happened when he slammed into the back of the van and that “a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.” The report came after Baltimore police revealed that the van Gray had been riding in made a suspicious and previously unreported stop — and after the department, a day earlier than expected, turned over the results of their probe to the state prosecutor. “I understand the frustration, I understand the sense of urgency,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. “That is why we have finished it a day ahead of time.” Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said they learned of the mysterious stop after reviewing footage from a privately owned camera. Some activists and elected officials are criticizing the New York Police Department’s handling of protests over the death of a Baltimore man critically injured in police custody. The station also says a police report turned over to state prosecutors on Thursday “found no evidence” that Gray was injured during his “videotaped arrest and interaction with police officers.” Police have said Gray was not properly buckled inside the van in which he was being transported, and suspects are known to have been intentionally injured previously in Baltimore police vans by so-called “rough rides.” However, Gray also appears to be in pain before entering the police van in recordings of his arrest. By now, the basic details are no doubt familiar: the 25-year-old Gray was arrested two weeks ago, reportedly on a weapons charge, and then died a week later. Batts did not address an account in the Washington Post — attributed to a leaked police report quoting the unidentified prisoner — which claimed Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself.” “We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Jason Downs, a lawyer for the Gray family, said in response to that report.

NBC affiliate WBAL’s Jayne Miller took the story apart within about an hour, reporting that the prisoner in question only got aboard on the van’s fourth stop, and was with him for five or six minutes. It wasn’t until 9:26 a.m. on April 12 that paramedics were summoned to the Western District station to transport “an unconscious male” to the hospital, police said. 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. A prisoner who is said to have shared the police vehicle with Gray reportedly told police he was “intentionally trying to hurt himself,” but the officer who drove the van has yet to give a statement.

Police have not fully explained why they began chasing Gray when they made “eye contact” with him and another man at 8:39 a.m. at the intersection of W. An “exclusive” on a right-wing site blared “FREDDIE GRAY ALLEGEDLY HAD SPINE SURGERY JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE ARREST.” It quickly metastasized to “everyone’s racist uncle’s Facebook feed,” as Gawker put it.

Evidence of a lawsuit settlement cited by the right had to do with a suit Gray’s family filed against their landlord, charging negligence that led to the children’s being poisoned by lead paint, according to their attorney William “Billy” Murphy. Though the claims are extraordinarily hard to believe, this is the first tidbit of information the public has received from inside the official investigation into Gray’s death. Meanwhile, protests over Gray’s death spread Wednesday night to other cities including Boston, New York and Washington, making it clear that tensions over the case are far from subsiding. 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. You should also read Paul Waldman on the suspiciousness and implausibility of the report, which flies in the face of basic reasoning but conveniently exculpates the Baltimore police.

It will be up to State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to decide whether to seek an indictment and prosecute any of the six Baltimore cops who were involved in Gray’s arrest. “We have been briefed regularly throughout their process while simultaneously conducting our own independent investigation,” Mosby said in a statement. “While we have and will continue to leverage the information received by the Department, we are not relying solely on their findings but rather the facts that we have gathered and verified.” “Whatever time the state’s attorney’s office needs to make that determination, the family wants to get it right,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. In other words, all we have to go on by way of Baltimore law enforcement, at this point, is this leaked document pointing to a theory that strains credulity. Similar protests erupted over the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York last year, and Walter Scott in South Carolina. When Geraldo Rivera tried to walk him back a bit and pointed out to him that this weird, unconfirmed leak probably won’t be accepted by the protesters in Baltimore, Hannity was outraged: Facts! WBAL’s Miller told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Wednesday night she’s heard from multiple medical sources that “it’s virtually impossible to do that injury on your own.” And so it continues, crackpot theories and right-wing “exclusives,” plus the occasional mainstream report coming from police department leaks, all trying to exonerate police and implicate Freddie Gray in his own death.

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. It is certainly consistent with what I heard regarding his [Gray’s] character.” Apparently the inclination to break one’s own spine is a character trait – who knew? “Can you inflict severe injury on yourself if you’re doing the type of behavior described by that prisoner?” Hannity asked the police official who wasn’t there. “Absolutely,” said the sheriff. “It happens all the time,” adding as a caveat that he obviously doesn’t know if that’s what happened in this instance.

It’s clear that Hannity doesn’t actually care what happened to Freddie Gray, and he doesn’t care about how the minority populations of Baltimore are brutalized and terrorized by the police on a regular basis. And so when this thinly sourced and highly suspicious report emerged, Hannity’s immediate reaction was to do really the only thing he knows how to do: call Obama a “loser.” 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. 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.

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. 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.

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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