The Corner

WaPo: Prisoner in Van with Freddie Gray Says Gray ‘Was Intentionally Trying to Injure Himself’

How Freddie Gray sustained the injuries that led to his death is the outstanding mystery of the case that raised Baltimore to a fever pitch. Now comes an interesting report from the Washington Post:

A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. 

Little has been revealed about Gray’s approximately half-hour ride in a police van from the Gilmor Homes neighborhood, where he was arrested, to the Western District police station. However, according to Baltimore police, the van made multiple stops on account of Gray’s behavior:

The van driver stopped three times while transporting Gray to a booking center, the first to put him in leg irons. Batts said the officer driving the van described Gray as “irate.” The search warrant application says Gray “continued to be combative in the police wagon.”

The driver made a second stop, five minutes later, and asked an officer to help check on Gray. At that stop, police have said the van driver found Gray on the floor of the van and put him back on the seat, still without restraints. Police said Gray asked for medical help at that point.

The third stop was to put the other prisoner — a 38-year-old man accused of violating a protective order — into the van. The van was then driven six blocks to the Western District station. Gray was taken from there to a hospital, where he died April 19.

The Baltimore Police Department and the Justice Department have both launched investigations into Gray’s death. The results of the BPD investigation are supposed to be released Friday, at which point the Baltimore state attorney’s office will decide whether an indictment of any of the involved officers is in order. With regard to this latest report, the Post notes, “It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version” of events.

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