Police: Van carrying Freddie Gray made previously unknown stop
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police have completed their investigation into the death of a black man who suffered a spinal injury in police custody and turned over their findings to prosecutors — one day earlier than the department's self-imposed deadline, the commissioner said Thursday morning...
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police have completed their investigation into the death of a black man who suffered a spinal injury in police custody and turned over their findings to prosecutors — one day earlier than the department’s self-imposed deadline, the commissioner said Thursday morning.
In widespread protests Wednesday night — not only in Baltimore, but in several cities including Boston, New York and Washington — it was clear that tensions over the case are far from subsiding. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, after turning violent earlier this week, but police made numerous arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and at least 60 in New York. Freddie Gray’s death was the latest in a series of high-profile cases around the U.S. in which black men have died as the result of encounters with police.
Authorities carefully monitored the rally after teenagers started the violence Monday afternoon, throwing bricks and bottles at officers who had gathered near a major bus transfer point. The situation escalated from there, overwhelming police as protesters set fire to cars and buildings and raided stores.
Protests similar to those in Baltimore have erupted over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York last year, and the death earlier this month in South Carolina of Walter Scott. Scott was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer who has since been charged with murder.
Authorities have said the Maryland state’s attorney’s office will review the new information Baltimore police, consider charges and decide how to move forward in the death of Gray, who was stopped by police April 12. He suffered spinal injuries while in custody and died a week later.
In his announcement at a news conference, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts did not give details of the report or take questions. He said the department dedicated more than 30 detectives to working on the case and report.
“I understand the frustration; I understand the sense of urgency. … That is why we have finished it a day ahead of time,” Batts said.
Batts also said police would continue to work on the case at the direction of the state’s attorney.
At the same news conference, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis reviewed the timeline of Gray’s time in custody and his death. Gray was arrested after he made eye contact with officers and ran. After a chase, officers pinned him down and handcuffed him. They loaded him into a van and put leg cuffs on him when officers said he became “irate” in the wagon.
Davis said Thursday that police discovered a new stop the van made with Gray in it, but they did not say what happened. Davis said the stop was found through footage from a privately owned camera.
At a later stop at the tail end of Gray’s ride, police put another man in the van. He told investigators that Gray was “was still moving around, that he was kicking and making noises” up until the van arrived at the police station. Batts said the man also said the driver did not speed, make sudden stops of “drive erratically.”
Somewhere along the way, Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury. He was eventually taken to a hospital. He died a week later.
The six officers involved were suspended with pay amid the criminal investigation
On Wednesday, rumors circulated that some kind of “verdict” will be rendered when police handed their report to prosecutors. But Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other officials worked to dispel that notion.
“It became very clear … that people misunderstood,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Hassan Murphy, a lawyer for Gray’s family, underscored their comments, saying, “This family wants justice and they want justice that comes at the right time and not too soon.”
Said Rawlings-Blake: “Whatever time the state’s attorney’s office needs to make that determination, the family wants to get it right.”
Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols, Juliet Linderman, Matthew Barakat, Tom Foreman Jr., Jessica Gresko, Brian Witte and Jeff Horwitz contributed to this report.
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