BALTIMORE (TIP): Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore is the latest in a rash of high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police.
- Gray was arrested April 12 on a weapons charge (Police still haven’t said why they arrested Gray on April 12, other than that they found a knife on him after a foot chase)
- Gray suffered a spine injury at some point after his arrest and before he arrived at the police station
- The Police van made a previously undisclosed stop on its way to a police station and was not mentioned by the police team under investigation to the Investigators.
Freddie Gray was a black man who entered a police van handcuffed and conscious on April 12 and came out less than an hour later comatose.
Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12. The 25-year-old had suffered a spinal injury and died a week later, touching off waves of protests across Baltimore, capped by a riot Monday April 27, in which hundreds of angry residents torched buildings, looted stores and pelted police officers with rocks.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she knew “immediately” that this was something more than the depressingly common passing of another young man.
Black men dying at the hands of police had become “a slow-rolling crisis” in America, as President Obama would put it nine days after Gray’s death.
Rioting broke out after Gray’s funeral on April 27-a night of arson, looting and brick throwing that led the mayor to declare a 10 p.m. citywide curfew as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called out the National Guard.
[quote_center] Roots of the Riots[/quote_center]
Stories about police brutality in Baltimore go far beyond Freddie Gray, whose death resulting from a spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody has sparked violent protests throughout Baltimore.
Baltimore has paid out nearly $6 million in settlements to more than 100 victims of police brutality in the four years from 2011 through 2014, according to the Baltimore Sun. Those victims ranged from young teens to a 26-year-old pregnant woman to an 87-year-old grandmother.
[quote_box_center]Investigations into the In-Custody Death and Riots[/quote_box_center]
Local police and the U.S. Justice Department both launched investigations of Gray’s death. Baltimore police said they will wrap up their investigation Friday May 1, and turn the results over to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether to seek an indictment. Six police officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant who were involved in the arrest and subsequent death of Gray, have already been suspended pending investigations.
Police handed their Freddie Gray investigative files over to prosecutors a day earlier than planned yesterday on April 30. “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.”
Prosecutor Marilyn 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,” “We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system.”
Mosby’s office is tasked with deciding whether the death of 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray warrants charges against the six patrol officers, whose involvement in the case led to their temporary suspension.