State Attorney Rules Freddie Gray's Death as Homicide

The state's attorney ruled Freddie Gray's death a homicide today but a new report finds Freddie Gray was hurt inside the police van as police say no evidence death was caused by police interaction - will there be enough evidence for a conviction?

The state's attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced on Friday that they had filed homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against the police officers involved the death of Freddie Gray.

Six officers are being charged, one with second-degree murder. Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

Mosby says they have probable cause to file criminal charges against six cops. Mosby described repeated mistreatment of Gray and said the officers had “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest.”

Says ‘officers abused him, arrested him without grounds and violated police procedure by putting him in handcuffs and leg restraints in the van without putting a seatbelt on him’

Officers repeatedly failed to seek medical attention for Gray after he was injured. By the time he was removed from the van, Gray was no longer breathing.

The knife the police say Gray was carrying had not been a legitimate basis for his arrest. The knife was not a switchblade, and it is lawful.

The most serious charges were levelled against Caesar Goodson, the driver of the police van Gray was transported in. Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office.

Lt Brian Rice was also charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Officer William Porter and Sgt Alicia White -charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office. Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller - charged with assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

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It still remains unclear whether Gray was injured during arrest or during ride in van.

Baltimore police have been focusing on what happened to him in the back of the van (say they found no evidence of injury during arrest), however the cellphone video shows Gray being dragged into the back of a police van with limp legs which strongly suggests the injury occurred before entering the van.

They also have not said what could have caused Gray to slam into the back of the van, which is suspicious. Baltimore police investigated their own police department. Investigation should be confirmed by an independent investigation that doesn’t involve Baltimore police but no one has confirmed.

The second prisoner did not say Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself.

Reports claimed that the second prisoner in van said Gray was “banging against the walls” and “was intentionally trying to injure himself” – not true. 

The prisoner said after being released that his words were twisted by the media. He only heard ‘Gray banging around for about four seconds.’ Does not believe Gray was trying to hurt himself. 

Grey could not have injured himself by throwing himself against wall in van. It is nearly impossible to inflict a fatal spinal injury on yourself

According to spinal surgeon experts, you don’t become paralyzed or go into a coma from slamming yourself into a van door, and that throwing your shoulder or head against the wall is not going to produce a fatal injury.

Even the most pre-existing spinal conditions could not turn fatal with low-force trauma.

Typically, deadly spine injures are sustained in high-speed car accidents and falls from significant heights. Autopsy report said injury happened in van, but was not self-inflicted.

Autopsy results show Gray’s fatal neck injury—a nearly severed spine—was the result of being handcuffed but not fully secured in the police wagon. 

Specifically, Gray was bound by his wrists and ankles and left stomach down on the floor of the van as it drove around West Baltimore.

It seems odd considering Gray looked clearly hurt on the cellphone video that showed cops dragging him into van. Why did it look like he was injured before getting into the van? How did he sustain those injuries? 

Spinal Cord Injuries and Crushed Larynx

Spinal cord injury: damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling.

This is most often caused by a traumatic blow to the spinal cord such as during a car accident, severe fall, or an act of violence. 

There must be ‘a sudden, traumatic blow to your spinethat fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more of your vertebrae,’ or when a gun shot or knife penetrates your spinal cord. 

When someone injures their spinal cord, there are some immediate signs and symptoms:

o extreme back pain

o pressure in your neck, head or back

o weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of the body

o difficulty with balance and walking

o impaired breathing after injury

o oddly positioned or twisted neck or back

The cell phone video shows Gray in pain as police drag him to van (screaming that he was hurt, dragging legs, limping, looked like he couldn’t walk).

He was also having trouble breathing because he kept asking for his inhaler.

• Crushed larynx (laryngotracheal injury) most often caused by direct blow to front of neck

This is a rare injury in adults, except when there is blunt force trauma to the front of the neck, such as strangulation, or blows to the trachea from fists or feet. 

In this case, the person in the front seat or driver is thrown forward and the front of the neck either hits the dashboard or steering wheel. 

• Direct blow to the front of the neck could crush larynx against the spine of neck, causing spinal cord injury. 

• If the blow to the front of the neck is severe and/or low, the larynx and trachea can become completely separated, causing airway obstruction and difficulty breathing. With this type of injury, the neck must be immediately ‘stabilized to prevent worsening of unrecognized cervical spine injuries.’ 

Six cops knew Gray needed medical help, knew he could die or be seriously injured, and chose not to act. If the prosecutors can prove exactly how Gray sustained injuries, in addition to evidence they already have regarding Gray’s mistreatment during arrest and van ride, they should have enough evidence to prove the cops guilty