On Friday morning, the state attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, emerged from the city’s War Memorial Building and announced criminal charges against six police officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
She provided the most thorough account yet of what happened the night Gray died.
It all started with a glance.
While on patrol between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. on April 12, Lt. Brian Rice made eye contact with Gray, who began to run away from the officer. Rice, along with officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero, sent out over dispatch that they were in pursuit of Gray.
Shortly after, Gray surrendered to the three cops on Presbury Street. They handcuffed him and placed him in a stress position. Gray told them he couldn’t breathe, asking for an inhaler. The cops ignored his requests.
The officers snatched a pocket knife off of Gray, which was clipped to his pocket. Mosby noted the knife was lawful under Maryland law.
“Mr. Gray began to flail his legs and scream as Officer Miller placed Mr. Gray in a restraining technique known as a leg lace,” she said. As this was happening, Officer Nero held Gray down against his will.
Officer Caesar Goodson arrived with the police van, which the officers loaded Gray into without securing him with a seatbelt. A bystander captured video of the arrest, where Gray can be heard crying in agony as the officers drag him across the pavement into a police van. At this point, Mosby noted, no probable cause had existed to justify Gray’s arrest.
Shortly after, the police van stopped at Baker’s Street, where police put “flex cuffs” on his wrists and shackles on his legs.
“Several blocks later, Officer Goodson called in to dispatch that he needed to check on the status of his prisoner,” she said.
When the police checked on Gray, he was still asking for medical attention, complaining he couldn’t breathe. The cops let him out of the van but didn’t follow up on his injuries or pleading for help.
At some point, while the van continued on its way to the booking station, Gray “suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet, and unrestrained inside of the B.P.D. Wagon,” according to Mosby.
The police van, however, did not proceed directly to the booking station. It responded to a dispatch for another incident and a second man was arrested. Officer William Porter and Sgt. Alicia White joined Goodson around this time.
“Despite Mr. Gray’s obvious and recognized need for medical assistance, officer Goodson in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond to the 1600 block of West North Avenue, with Mr. Gray still unsecured by his seat belt in the wagon, without rendering to or summoning medical assistance for Mr. Gray,” Mosby said.
At this point, Gray was “unresponsive,” according Mosby.
After loading the second detainee, Goodson finally completed the trip to the police station some 45 minutes after Gray was initially detained. When officers unloaded Gray from the van, he was no longer breathing.
A medic arrived at the scene and Gray was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for surgery.
Gray died of his injuries a week later.
All six officers were charged by Mosby on Friday in connection with Gray’s death. The attorney said that the state investigation was made up of interviews, video tape, and access to the medical examiner’s report, which ruled Gray’s death a homicide.
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