The State Attorney’s office is now working with the Baltimore Police Department and the Department of Justice to investigate the death of Freddie Gray, 27 years old, who passed away a few days after he was arrested by the police. The arrest left him in a coma for several days due to spinal and voice box injuries.
His death prompted many protests on Sunday and Monday. His family is also looking for answers. Six police officers have been suspended but according to their reports, they don’t know what exactly led to the man’s death and they claim they hadn’t used force during the arrest.
He was arrested on the 12th of April 2015, in Baltimore for fleeing without motive from police officers as soon as he saw them. He was in the possession of a knife at the moment of the arrest, which was recovered from his pocket pants by one of the officers. One of the witnesses caught the whole scene on camera and released it on the internet. The clip shows how the police are dragging Freddie Gray to a police vehicle while he is screaming and is not able to walk by himself due to a limp leg. After he was taken to the emergency unit, he had to undergo surgery on three vertebrae and on his voice box. Unfortunately, his spine was too severed and he couldn’t make it out of the coma.
The Grays’ lawyer, Billy Murphy said hospital reports show that 80% of his spine was severed. The autopsy revealed that this is what caused his death.
The police issued a detailed report that reveals the details of his arrest. According to it, he was placed in leg irons and the police van picked up another prisoner while taking Gray to the police station. It was also reported that the injured man constantly asked for medical care. The officers in charge of his arrest noticed that he had troubles breathing because he kept asking for an inhaler.
Officials are investigating the time lapse between his filmed arrest and the moment he got out of the van. While Gray was able to move and talk before being taken to the police car, he was in very much distress when he was taken out of it, as he was unable to communicate and his motion was visibly affected. The reason for his arrest also remains an enigma and the police are looking into that as well.
Even if police representatives stated that they are doing everything in their power to clarify the situation and give the family the answers they are looking for, many people don’t trust that the case will be handled with the objectivity required. There are still many ambiguities and questions following Gray’s death but one thing is for sure – activists who are hungry for explanation will continue to protest against the excessive use of force police that officers sometimes employ while making arrests until all this becomes clearer.
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