A man who was viciously attacked last week by Baltimore cops, seemingly for no reason other than being in a ‘high crime area’, has lost his struggle for life in hospital.
Freddie Gray, only 25-years-old, has become the latest victim in the epidemic of police murders of American citizens.
The aftermath of the attack was captured on video, showing Gray being hauled up from the ground, clearly with a severely broken leg, and little control over his own body.
Officers then dump him in the back of a police van.
Aside from what was a obviously brutal attack, the fact that medical professionals and an ambulance were not immediately called to the scene is criminal in itself.
The police report states that the “arrest” took place at 8:54am. An ambulance was not called to the Western District police station until half an hour later at 9:24am.
The incident occurred one week ago on Sunday 12th April. Gray has since been in critical condition in hospital in an induced coma with shattered vertebra, a broken spine, a broken leg and a crushed larynx.
“While in police custody, his spine was 80% severed at his neck,” William Murphy Jr, an attorney for Gray’s family, said in a statement on Sunday. “We believe the police are keeping the circumstances of Freddie’s death a secret until they develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility.” Relatives said Gray also suffered swelling to his brain.
Because Gray was seen moving his head and speaking while being put into the back of the police wagon, family members have speculated that he was severely beaten AGAIN at some point after the arrest.
Gray underwent emergency spinal surgery but was pronounced dead Sunday.
Witnesses say that police had approached Freddie, prompting him to attempt to avoid them, for fear of being hurt. The officers attempted to question and arrest him, but he tried to run away, which is when the beating ensued.
One of the people in the video can be heard screaming “You broke his leg!” It turned out that the cops did much more damage than that.
Police have said that a panel has been set up to review the case which will be sent to prosecutors, but no information has been made public. The Gray family have demanded that the case be escalated to the US Department of Justice and the FBI.
“The officers who did this need to be arrested now, locked in jail and charged with murder,” said Gray’s sister, Carolina, in her first interview. “And this all needs to be investigated by separate police. How can Baltimore police look into their own?”
“The police are just going to look out for each other,” said Robert Darden, Gray’s uncle. “They need to get the federal government to investigate.” Protesters came together Sunday outside the police station in Baltimore.
More protests planned in West Baltimore following death of Freddie Gray http://t.co/CGwVf7xE1Y
— Baltimore Maryland (@BaltimoreMdRR) April 19, 2015
“We don’t have any idea why they were chasing him,” said Carolina Gray. Darden, the uncle, said: “The police have been killing these young people. When he saw the police, he ran. And when he ran and the police caught him, they were mad he ran from them. And they beat him up.”
The mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, told a press conference that a criminal investigation into Gray’s death had been opened by city authorities. “I will ensure we will hold the right people accountable,” she said.
Four of the cops involved in the beating are now on administrative leave, pending the internal police inquiry. Some reports have suggested that Gray was charged with carrying a knife, but the family dispute this.
While this is sure to invigorate already intense protests against police brutality, it is yet another incident of a black man being killed by white cops, and the racial element is sure to be a huge factor once again, drawing more media attention to a problem that, in reality, transcends race and is effecting Americans of every different colour and cultural background.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.