Police give prosecutors findings on Baltimore man’s death

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Baltimore residents disappointed Gray report kept secret.

The mysterious development, announced on Thursday, emerged after the department surveyed a privately-owned security camera during their investigation into Gray’s death, which has been completed and handed to the state prosecutor. Baltimore erupted in violence on Monday hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray who died April 19 after he was injured in police custody a week earlier. It is not known why the van stopped at the corner of North Fremont Ave and Mosher Street, before it made another two stops, and finally transported Gray to the hospital where he died of a severe spinal injury a week later.

The death of 25-year-old Mr Gray renewed a national debate on law enforcement and race that was sparked by police killing unarmed black men last year in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City and elsewhere. Since Gray’s death, protests that culminated in rioting Monday have consumed the city, prompting a citywide curfew and the arrival of the National Guard. But now a prisoner who allegedly witnessed Mr Gray’s ride to a Baltimore police station claims he “was intentionally trying to injure himself” in the van. Cheryl Stewart, a spokeswoman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, acknowledged a widespread misconception that the city would make the report public on Friday. Six officers have been suspended with pay over the incident, and the department has admitted Gray – who was asthmatic – should have been given the medical help he requested.

She said releasing the report could harm the investigation. “Everybody is pinning on Friday like this is going to a big verdict or something and that’s not going to happen,” Stewart said. “I understand people want the details. The news of a previously unreported stop has prompted outrage in Baltimore, with protest leaders demanding to know why the six officers did not include it in their paperwork. More than 2,000 National Guard troops and 1,000 police from all over Maryland, as well as from New Jersey and the District of Columbia, were sent in to restore order.

As the police department, Mayor’s office, and state prosecutors refuse to address the development, it has done nothing but fuel anger and speculation surrounding the circumstances of Gray’s arrest more than two weeks ago. White Americans are far less likely to be locked up than their black compatriots, but far more likely to be behind bars than the citizens of nearly all other countries. Almost a quarter of the 620,000 people in Baltimore live below the poverty line and decayed, crime-ridden areas of the city inspired the gritty television police drama “The Wire”. Groups of demonstrators marched and chanted “Black Lives Matter,” one of the anthems of a national movement against police use of lethal force, which is used disproportionately against minorities.

In a police document leaked to the Washington Post, the other prisoner in the transport van with Gray said he could hear the 25-year-old slamming himself against the wall. The Baltimore Orioles were forced to play their latest Major League Baseball match with the Chicago White Sox behind closed doors due to the recent riots in the city centre. The Post 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. Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, who is leading the investigation, said Gray should have received medical attention then, but did not explain why.

Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis fired a three-run homer over the scoreboard in the first innings during Wednesday’s clash, there was nothing but silence for the normally delirious event. 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.

Now, he is just hoping to see justice for Gray’s family. “I mean, something needs to be done with what happened to Freddie Gray,” Alexander said. “Incidents like this should not occur on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly basis.” Yvonne Rice, 55, of Baltimore, said she is stunned to learn the report won’t be public and it makes her suspicious of something nefarious. The statement was cited in a warrant to search an arresting officer’s clothing for possible traces of Gray’s DNA. ‘We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,’ attorney Jason Downs told the Post. ‘We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr Gray was arrested without force or incident.’ Outrage over the unexplained death of a black man in Baltimore, Maryland prompted nationwide protests against police brutality on Wednesday from Houston to Boston. People are going to act out.” A protester yells into a bullhorn during a march as members of the Maryland National Guard stand outside Baltimore City Hall in Baltimore. (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)

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! 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.

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.”

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