United States: Baltimore police under fresh fire over new video

May 23, 2015
Still from video contradicting police account of Freddy Gray's illegal detention and arrest

A new video has surfaced of the arrest of 25-year-old Black man Freddie Gray by Baltimore police that contradicts previous police accounts and features an extra stop made by police on the way to the station, the Baltimore Sun reported on May 20.

Gray died on April 19 from injuries sustained in the back of a police van. He was arrested after he made eye contact with police and then ran away.

The newspaper obtained the extra cell phone video footage and testimony from neighbours who said they saw the police van stop one block away from where Freddie Gray was arrested April 12.

The video shows the back of the parked police van with the doors wide open and Gray laying flat on his stomach halfway out of the van, with his legs hanging off the back. Four officers are seen standing over him and place shackles around his ankles as Gray lays there motionless.

The images seem to contradict previous police accounts who say Gray was acting “irate” so they pulled over, took him out of the van and placed flex-cuffs on his wrists and shackles around his ankles. According to neighbours who witnessed the event as well as residents who filmed the event with their cell phone, Gray was not moving when the police van had stopped.

The video then shows another officer pull up in a patrol car, get out and walk toward the van. One of the neighbours, Michelle Gross, is heard yelling out to Gray “You all right?” but a response was not heard in the recording. Gross says she did not hear him respond.

Neighbours are then heard asking for a supervisor, at which point an officer points to Lieutenant Brian Rice.

Rice is one of the six officers who have been charged by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. On the video, he is heard threatening the two witnesses with his Taser if they do not leave the scene.

Mosby said the officers violated department policy by not securing Gray with a seatbelt, not providing medical care when he needed it and placing Gray in the van head first and on his stomach. Gray's death prompted a wave of protests across Baltimore with people demanding justice.

The State Attorney has faced a wave of criticisms from the Baltimore Police Department for laying the charges.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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