Freddie Gray died after head slammed into bolt in police van: report

The Baltimore man whose death in police custody sparked riots and nationwide protests, suffered the fatal injury when his head slammed into a bolt in the back of a police van after his arrest, a report said Thursday.

The probe into Freddie Gray’s death — which occurred while he was still in custody seven days later — found no evidence that his devastating spinal-cord injuries were caused during his April 12 arrest, which was captured on camera, ABC News affiliate WJLA reported, citing multiple sources.
The sources had been briefed on the findings of a police investigation that was handed over to prosecutors on Thursday as well as preliminary reports from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
They said the ME found that Gray, 25, broke his neck and that a wound to his head matched a bolt in the rear of the van, the Washington, DC, station reported.
What exactly caused Gray to slam into the back of the van was unclear. The officer who was driving has not yet given a statement to authorities.
It was also unclear whether Gray himself caused the injury — as another prisoner in the van had reportedly told investigators.
That prisoner said he thought Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” The Washington Post had reported.
He told investigators that Gray “was still moving around, that he was kicking and making noises” up until the van arrived at the police station. He did not see Gray, because the van had a partition.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said the other suspect also said the van’s driver did not speed, make sudden stops or drive erratically.
The news came as evidence emerged showing the van made an unexplained additional stop — between the first and second stops — while bringing Gray to the station.
A camera outside a small grocery recorded the stop. Its owner, Jung Hyun Hwang, said two officers visited his store during the week of April 20 and later made a copy of the surveillance video.
Hwang said he did not review the video with police and didn’t know what was on it. His original recording, he said, was on a laptop that was stolen during the riots and looting Monday night.
Police had previously said the van stopped only three times, including to put leg cuffs on Gray and to pick up another prisoner.
The state Attorney’s Office will review the police findings and the results of its own investigation, then decide whether to seek criminal charges against any of the six cops involved.
All six were suspended following Gray’s April 19 death.
Billy Murphy, lawyer for Gray’s family, said his clients wanted a thorough investigation.

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Meredith Little

World News Journalist from Dublin, Ireland. Meredith has been with the Pluto Daily since October of 2013.