Baltimore riots speak loudly on police abuse
Written by Solomon Jones on May 1, 2015
The Baltimore Police Department has completed its investigation into the April 12 death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal injury a week after he was arrested for allegedly carrying a switchblade and fleeing police.
The department’s findings have been handed to Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, who will decide whether to press charges. A separate FBI investigation is ongoing, but here’s what police have said publicly.
Gray, who was already wearing handcuffs after his arrest, was placed in leg shackles while inside that prisoner transport van. A privately owned video camera recorded a previously undisclosed stop while Gray was in that van. Gray was not wearing a seatbelt while he was transported.
And while we don’t yet know what led to the spinal injury that killed him, we do know this: His death and the lack of answers surrounding it precipitated a day of violence.
It began after Gray’s funeral, when peaceful protests spiraled into something else altogether. On a day that should’ve been about a family attempting to heal, chaos ensued, and the family was forced to lay aside their grief to beg a fractured city for calm.