A prisoner who shared a ride to jail with Freddie Gray claims the 25-year-old was trying to injure himself inside a police van before he died from unexplained spinal cord injuries, according to a leaked police report.
The report was leaked to the Washington Post under the proviso that the prisoner remains anonymous – raising questions about its accuracy and the favorable light which it shines on the Baltimore police force.
In the documents, the unidentified prisoner says he was loaded into a police van after Gray on April 12, and apparently told investigators that he heard Gray ‘banging against the walls’ and ‘intentionally trying to injure himself’.
However, he claims he could not see what Gray was doing, since they were separated by a metal partition. The statement was cited in a warrant to search an arresting officer’s clothing for possible traces of Gray’s DNA.
The Washington Post obtained the affidavit from a person who asked the prisoner, who remains jailed for violating a restraining order, not be identified for fears over their safety.
Officials in Baltimore have warned protesters that the investigation into Freddie Gray’s death will not be resolved by tomorrow – despite rumors to the contrary.
City chiefs have been attempting to manage growing expectations they will immediately decide whether to prosecute six officers involved in the arrest of Gray who later died of injuries he apparently received while in custody. Authorities confirmed they plan to turn over findings of a police investigation into the death to a state’s attorney by Friday.
In the past week, Gray has become the new face of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, with many believing his death was caused by police during or after the arrest. His death has not only prompted demonstrations in Baltimore, but in several cities across the nation.
However, just how Gray sustained the life-ending injuries has remained unclear with both the Baltimore Police and Department of Justice revealing little of their respective on-going investigations.
The assertion that Gray may have caused his own death in the back of the police van was quickly rejected by an attorney hired by his family.
‘We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,’ attorney Jason Downs told the Post. ‘We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr Gray was arrested without force or incident.’
And local reporters have also found inconsistencies with the leaked affidavit. According to WBAL reporter Jayne Miller, police originally said that the second prisoner in the van told investigators that Gray was ‘mostly quiet’.
Sources also told the station that by the time the second prisoner was in the van, Gray was unresponsive.
Cell phone footage captured the moment Gray was arrested by police near a housing project in west Baltimore on April 12.
Police say Gray fled when they tried to talk to him, and that after tackling him to the ground they found him carrying an illegal switchblade knife and took him into custody.