New Freddie Gray Eyewitness Video Shows What Really Happened When He Was Placed In The Police Van
The death of Freddie Gray, who was arrested by police on April 12 and died a week later, remains a mystery. Surveillance videos from around Baltimore have shed minimal light on what happened to Gray, who was placed in a police van conscious and talking and taken out unconscious, but now a new eyewitness video, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, reveals a crucial moment in Gray's arrest and transport. (All six officers involving in Gray's transportation have been charged with offenses ranging from second-degree depraved heart murder to assault.) Filmed on a local resident's cellphone, the video shows police placing leg shackles on Gray, who already appears lifeless just a few minutes after his arrest. (Warning: Disturbing content ahead.)
The new video was filmed on Michelle Gross' cellphone by another neighbor, whom she handed her phone to. Gross says she was close with Gray, who used to call her "mom." The video was shot at the corner of Mount and Baker streets, a block from Gray's arrest site. The disturbing footage shows the police stopping the van to place leg ankles and flexi-cuffs on Gray, who can be seen hanging halfway out of the van unmoving. It also shows the officers placing Gray back into the van head first and on his stomach.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Gross exasperatedly described the scene as she remembered it:
He was just laying there. If he was already handcuffed, what'd they take him out for? What was the reason? From point A to B — that’s the puzzling part. Why was he out? What happened in that back? We don’t know — but something happened.
She also alleged that one officer had threatened to tase her neighbor if he didn't leave the scene. The Sun attempted to reach out to the Baltimore police department for comment, but a spokesperson said all questions were being directed to the state's attorney's office and offered no further comment.
According to Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the reason the officers stopped to place shackles on Gray was because they described the 25-year-old as acting "irate" in the back of the van. The officers' actions at this stop were pivotal in what happened to Gray.
When announcing the officer's charges, Mosby stated:
Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet, and unrestrained inside of the [Baltimore Police Department] wagon.
Right after being arrested, Gray had also requested to use his inhaler, which the officers ignored, and later requested medical attention, which, again, fell on deaf ears.
This crucial moment at Baker and Mount had also been captured on Baltimore surveillance camera #2108, one of many videos that the department had originally uploaded to its YouTube channel, but that particular one has since been removed with no explanation.
The video's removal further compounds the mystery surrounding what happened to Gray, but what we do know was enough to level charges against the officers ranging from second-degree depraved heart murder to misconduct in office.
Images: Baltimore Sun/Screenshots