On Monday morning, friends and family gave a tearful goodbye to 25-year-old Freddy Gray, at the New Shiloh Baptist Church, in West Baltimore. Shortly thereafter, the city around them exploded in violence. Weeks of tension over the cause of Mr. Gray’s death boiled over into all out rioting, as young men and women took to the streets with bricks, bottles, and incredible amounts of frustration. As reported by WBAL, 15 police officers were injured, multiple businesses were looted and hundreds of cars were engulfed in flames. Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the city of Baltimore, while city Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake enacted a week-long curfew.
Yet, after all the fires have been extinguished and relative calm has been restored, the question remains – what happened to young Freddy Gray? Despite an overwhelming judgment by the court of popular opinion, the fact remains that law enforcement officials and the Baltimore Police Department have yet to give a definitive answer as to why Freddy Gray was arrested, why he ended up with almost 80 percent of his spine severed and why six officers were subsequently relieved of duty following his death?
But here is what is said:
Mr. Gray was arrested after a foot chase in his neighborhood. A switchblade was found in his pocket, which led to him being taken into custody. A nearby witness captured video of a limp and barely moving Freddy being loaded into a police van. Over the next 30 minutes, the van made at least one stop to put Freddy in leg restraints. By the time the vehicle reached the station, the young man was not breathing and ultimately died from injuries related to his back and neck.
According to an official report, the Baltimore Police Department acknowledges that serious mistakes led to the death of the young man. He was not offered medical attention before, during or after his ride to the station. Nor was he seat-belted in. The officers involved, who have also been suspended, deny using force. But how then did Mr. Gray’s spine end up shattered? On this point, the BPD has remained silent. City officials, as well as the Justice Department, have launched an investigation that will hopefully shed some light on this and many other questions that remain.
Concerns over excessive force used in law enforcement remain at the forefront of many people’s minds today. If you have questions about police brutality in our community, the attorneys at Kahn Roven can help. Call today. The number is (844) 9-INJURED.