Cops Suspended After Breaking Man’s Spine
Six members of Baltimore’s police force have been suspended after a an autopsy determined that a man in their custody died of a broken spine.
25-year-old Freddie Gray was dragged into a police van from the street. Authorities don’t have any videos or evidence explaining what happened to cause the “medical emergency” he suffered while being taken to a local police station.
Bill Murphy, who is representing the Gray family, said that Gray’s “spine was 80 percent severed at his neck.”
Autopsy results returned Monday show that Gray “did suffer a significant spinal injury that led to his death,” according to Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez.
In a police report, Officer Garrett Miller wrote that police on bike patrol stopped Gray on April 12 after he was seen fleeing “unprovoked upon noticing police presence,” according to The Baltimore Sun.
Police said they found a knife clipped to Gray’s pants pocket and he was arrested on a weapons charge.
Video recorded by a bystander of the arrest does not show the injury occurring, but did capture four police officers dragging Gray to a police van as he screamed in pain.
“During transport to Western District via wagon transport the defendant suffered a medical emergency and was immediately transported to Shock Trauma via medic,” Miller wrote in the report.
According to Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Gray first asked for an inhaler, and then for medical care several times during his transport to the police station.
“When Mr. Gray was put in that van, he could talk, he was upset. And when he was taken out of that van, he could not talk and he could not breathe,” Rodriguez said.
Why Gray was stopped in the first place remains unclear.
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