raw_story_logoJin Zhao
19 Apr 2015 at 13:57 ET                   

Freddie Gray, spine severed by police, dies.

Freddie Gray, spine severed by police, dies.

Freddie Gray had to undergo a double surgery on three broken vertebrae and an injured voice box on Tuesday, after he was released by the police. He died today after days of remaining in a coma.

The 27-year old was arrested last week for an undisclosed violation. The police said that he was restrained on the ground by an officer during the arrest, but appeared to be fine when he was taken to the district station. However, a cell phone video shows that the arresting officers used force that some may see as “brutal.”

Protests have broken out in his neighborhood since Gray was sent to the hospital.

“What happened to Freddie was unnecessary and uncalled for,” the Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant of the Empowerment Temple said to protestors on Saturday. “All of those police officers involved need to be held accountable and answer for what they did, and need to be terminated from their positions,” he urged.

The case is pending a review by a “blue-ribbon” panel commissioned by the police.

Few details about police encounter that led to man’s death


April 20, 2015

Protest in Baltimore against police beating, death of Freddie Gray.

Protest in Baltimore against police beating, death of Freddie Gray.

BALTIMORE — Relatives, activists and even Baltimore city officials have more questions than answers about what happened to Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died one week after he was rushed to the hospital with spinal injuries following an encounter with four Baltimore police officers.

Gray, who died Sunday morning at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, was stopped by Baltimore Police Department officers on bike patrol April 12. Police have said Gray was running away from the officers when he was arrested and placed in a transport van. Police say roughly 30 minutes later, Gray was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Freddie Gray's arrest by white Baltimore cops April 12, 2015 after beating that severed 80 percent of his spine.

Freddie Gray’s arrest by white Baltimore cops April 12, 2015 after beating that severed 80 percent of his spine.

Billy Murphy, an attorney for Gray’s family, said Sunday that 80 percent of the man’s spinal cord had been severed near his neck.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and top police officials promised accountability and transparency Sunday at a news conference at City Hall.

“How was Mr. Gray injured? Were the proper protocols and procedures actually followed? What are the next steps to take from here?” Rawlings-Blake said.

She promised a thorough investigation and “real answers” for the community.

“I will ensure we will hold the right people accountable,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Gray’s family has declined, so far, to interact with police, said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. He said the department would try again this week to share information with them.

Protest after Freddie Gray

Protest after Freddie Gray’s beating and death; note sweatshirt “Assata Taught Me.” U.S. officials have claimed they are making headway in the extradition of Assata Shakur from Cuba; Cuban officials have not confirmed that.

“A mother has lost her son,” Batts said. “Freddie Gray passed. My greatest hope and wish and desire is that any time we have an interaction as a police department or a contact, that everyone goes home safe.”

Batts said he is assembling a “hybrid task force” that will include homicide investigators and the force investigation team.

Officers and other witnesses have been interviewed, according to Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez. However, not everyone has been interviewed, Rodriguez noted, saying the officers who are subjects of the criminal investigation have a right not to potentially incriminate themselves.

But Murphy said he has interviewed 11 witnesses as part of an investigation on behalf of the Gray family, and has asked the department for video footage, which it has declined to release to the public. Murphy said he disputes the department’s timeline of events, and believes Gray was in police custody for longer than they say.

“We are tired of the words. We want to see action,” Murphy said Sunday. “We want to see fair compensation for victims of police brutality, we want to see a fair response and an impartial investigation not cops investigating themselves.

“We have no confidence that the city or the police department is going to fairly and objectively investigate this case,” Murphy added. “We have no confidence the investigation will reveal the truth.”


SCLC leader Cortly "C.D." Witherspoon speaks during earlier protest against police brutality.

SCLC leader Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon speaks during earlier protest against police brutality.

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s activist community on Sunday called for increased transparency and accountability of the city’s police department, which last year volunteered for a Justice Department review of its policies and procedures.

Outside of the Western District station house, where Gray was brought after his arrest and before officers called for medical assistance, Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, president of the Baltimore chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called Baltimore a “police state” where criminalization of African American men is a pervasive problem. Witherspoon called for action, and an independent investigation into Gray’s death.

“They want the citizenry to be patient. They want the citizenry to let the investigation play out,” Witherspoon said. “We can’t do that. There has never been honest and genuine conversation with the police department and the people on the ground. We want an independent investigation. We want the officers fired, we want them stripped of their pension and we want them charged.”

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  1. sgetef says:

    Just what is going on with the American Police ? seems just about every other week there is some outrageous injury or worse caused by these people whilst arresting someone.Surely this needs to be sorted out once and for all.Seems the police are taking a more military stance than that of a police force,they have lost their direction and they need it back,to many of them are dressed in military garb and consequently act the part.They are there to protect and serve and need to be seen doing just that, if they want military style uniforms and weapons then they need join the US Military.They need to get back to their roots.

  2. Brenda Frazier says:


    Under the section titled “BLACK SUSPECT DIES AFTER BALTIMORE COPS BREAK HIS SPINE IN ‘BRUTAL’ BEATING” with the URL link of –, you are using the wrong picture for Freddie Grey. The picture you are using is for another person. Please fix ASAP.

  3. Rick says:

    Wow. Poor man.

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