The state medical examiner’s office has changed the cause of death for Freddie Gray from accident to homicide, following the autopsy report which shows Gray died of a single high-energy injury, probably caused by sudden slowing of the police van he was riding in, according to the report obtained by the Baltimore Sun. Homicide is due to ‘acts of omission’ by the police force to protect someone in police custody.
25 year-old Freddie Gray was arrested on April 12, 2015, and died one week later, causing people to protest and riot in the streets. A grand jury indicted 6 of the officers involved, the most serious charge is second-degree ‘depraved heart murder.’
Gray’s wrists and ankles were shackled in the van but he was not belted in, according to reports, putting him at risk for injury, which did happen. The Maryland medical examiner declined to release the report before having to turn it over to the defense, which will be this Friday June 26th, state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby decried the leak, saying, “I want to make it very clear that the state’s attorney’s office did not release the Freddie Gray autopsy report. As I have repeatedly stated, I strongly condemn anyone with access to trial evidence who has leaked information prior to the resolution of this case.” The autopsy report has been confirmed by sources who wish to remain anonymous.
The 6 officers who have been indicted for trials set in October are Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.,Officer Garrett E. Miller, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, and Sgt. Alicia D. White. They have all pleaded not guilty.
The timeline in the report summarized:
- Gray did not appear injured at the time of his arrest, he walked to the van on his own
- The police van stopped several times
- During the 2nd stop police placed an ID band and leg restraints on Gray, he was verbal and physical at this time
- During a 4th stop the driver asked for help, Gray was found on his stomach with his head toward the driver, Gray said he needed a medic, he couldn’t breathe, he needed help. The driver and an officer assisted him to the bench and drove on
- During a 5th stop Gray was slumped over and lethargic
There is sure to be more to come out at trial, reports say Gray was banging and kicking in the back of the van, he may have been having a seizure. The spinal cord injury could have caused seizures, weakness of limbs, and difficulty breathing, according to the autopsy. The hospital report noted he tested positive for opiates and cannabis on admission, no further references are made to this. Prompt medical attention may have made a large difference in the outcome of this case, according to the Assistant Medical Examiner.