22 April 2015

Suspicious Police Killings Go Local

Specifically, the death of Freddie Gray, who was alive and well when he was put in a paddy wagon by Baltimore police, and was in a coma with a broken neck and nearly severed spinal cord when it arrived at the station:
Officials and community leaders welcomed Tuesday the Justice Department's announcement that it is opening a criminal investigation into Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore police custody — an incident that continues to spark angry demonstrations.

"The Department of Justice has been monitoring the developments in Baltimore, Md., regarding the death of Freddie Gray," spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in a statement. "Based on preliminary information, the Department of Justice has officially opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violation occurred."

The federal agency did not release details about the investigation, but said it would include the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office and civil rights lawyers within the department.

The announcement came amid growing protests — hundreds demonstrated Tuesday evening in front of the Western District police station, where the 25-year-old was taken April 12, before being hospitalized and dying a week later. Protesters wore T-shirts with the slogan #Justice for Freddie and chanted "No justice, no peace."

Meanwhile, police gave members of a City Council public safety committee updates on the status of their investigation into Gray's death. After the hearing, Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said the Police Department will cooperate fully with the FBI in the federal probe and will hand over copies of all the documents it has.

Police said they are trying to determine whether Gray was properly restrained in a transport van, where officials have said his injuries occurred. He suffered a broken vertebra after he was arrested near Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester. 
Something is seriously broken with policing in America.


Cthulhu said...

His neck was broken BEFORE they stuck him in the wagon, Matthew. Go back and watch the video. He has no control over his legs, they're dragging and flopping bonelessly, a sure sign of spinal damage. He's screaming in pain, and may not have had control of his arms, given the way they're supporting him.

Methinks one of the cops dropped a knee on his neck too hard, and they knew it. It's why they hustled him out of sight so quickly.

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