Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Maryland, was arrested in mid-April and charged with carrying a switchblade.
Baltimore police, in their clearest acknowledgement of failure, said a
black man who later died should have got medical attention where he was
arrested – before being put inside a police van. Man repeatedly begged arresting officers for medical treatment.
department’s acknowledgement came after a week of scrutiny and
near-daily demonstrations over what protesters say is police
mistreatment of blacks in Baltimore and throughout the country. Fierce
debate has been stoked by the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson,
Missouri, and New York City.
Gray was taken into custody April 12
and during his arrest or in the van suffered a spinal injury. Six
officers have been suspended with pay.
Commissioner Anthony Batts
said it was possible Gray was injured before the van ride, but also
possible he had a “rough ride” – where officers hit the brakes and take
sharp turns to injure suspects in the back of vans.
Gray was arrested after he made eye contact with officers and ran away, police said.
Officers held him down, handcuffed him and put him in a police van. He became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police said.
Gray was not buckled in, a violation of police policy.
Gray asked for medical help several times, and after a 30-minute ride that included three stops, paramedics were called.
was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been.
There’s no excuse for that, period,” Batts said. “We know our police
employees failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner
Deputy police commissioner Bystander video shows Gray screaming as officers carried him to the van, his legs appearing limp.
Protesters promised their biggest march last night, when they would try to “shut down” the city.
Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice, who predicted thousands would
turn up, rejected the notion that he was an outside agitator who would
stir up trouble.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expects the results of the investigation to be turned over to prosecutors in a week.
The mayor said Gray’s possible rough ride was clearly not a one-off.
2005, Dondi Johnson died of a fractured spine after he was arrested for
urinating in public and transported without a seat belt, with hands
cuffed behind him.