What Does Freddie Gray’s Death Mean for Baltimore?  For the Nation?



I have followed the news of Ferguson & Kelly Thomas pretty closely. And I’ve been stacking up a list of our would be heroes and fallen brothers who just keep getting the raw end of the deal because the law protects it’s own. The media sways back and forth, and usually gives us exactly what the powers that be want us to have in our hands, which is not much. I’ve seen the power of Occupy rise up, and then dwindle away. And now, in Baltimore, I’m wondering what is to come of the death of Freddie Gray.

And how will it change the city? The nation?


Here’s the quick break down from Vox.com  

  1. A Baltimore police spokesperson said the police department won’t release a report detailing the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a spinal cord injury on April 19, a week after an allegedly brutal arrest.
  2. “There has been a lot of conversation about a report. There is not a report that is going to be issued,” Baltimore Police Department spokesperson Eric Kowalczyk said, according to theWashington Post’s Debbi Wilgoren. “What we are going to do is turn over our findings, all of our investigative efforts, to the state’s attorney’s office.”
  3. Investigators haven’t revealed how Gray received his injury, or whether the police officers who arrested him caused it. Police officials have said their investigation will end on Friday, May 1, but they have refused to release details from the inquiry to avoid prejudicing the investigation.
  4. It’s possible the state’s attorney’s office will still release the findings upon receiving them.
  5. The questions surrounding Gray’s death have led to sometimes-tense protests — and riots — demanding answers over his death.


And then there is the Spin

Jason Downs, one of the attorneys for the Gray family, said the family had not been told of the prisoner’s comments to investigators.

“We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Downs said. “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.”

Baltimore police said they will wrap up their investigation Friday and turn the results over to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether to seek an indictment. Six police officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, have been suspended.


Baltimore riots remind us of why we need police

Was he a victim of what is widely known as a “rough ride,” an unlawful practice by which police vans are driven in a way that causes injury or pain to a handcuffed detainee who is not buckled in?

That’s how former Baltimore police officer Charles J. Key described such long, slow rides to the police station five years ago in a lawsuit brought by relatives of Dondi Johnson Sr., who was left a paraplegic after a 2005 police van ride and died two weeks later, according to The Baltimore Sun. The family won a $7.4 million verdict. – Chicago Tribune



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