Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, autopsy confirms

By Kevin Martinez
June 25, 2015
World Socialist Web Site


The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an event which provoked massive protests and unrest, leading to a police-military occupation of Baltimore by 5,000 National Guardsmen, was an act of homicide caused by police officers, an autopsy report leaked by an anonymous source to the Baltimore Sun confirmed.

The loading of Gray into a cage inside a police van by the Baltimore police, where he was left with feet and wrists shackled and without any safety belt, exposed the young man to lethal injuries sustained while the vehicle accelerated and decelerated. Gray suffered neck and spinal injuries comparable to someone who had dived into shallow water, the medical examiner concluded.

The autopsy report was completed on April 30, one day before Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against the six police officers who detained Gray. The driver of the van, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., is being charged with second-degree murder, while the other five police officers face charges of manslaughter and second-degree assault.

The police defense team has claimed, in blatant contradiction to facts established by the autopsy, that Gray’s injuries were “self-inflicted.”

The autopsy’s findings were based on video footage of events surrounding Gray’s arrest, along with witness statements.

“Mr. Gray was still yelling and shaking the van,” the medical examiner said. “He was removed and placed on the ground in a kneeling position, facing the van doors, while ankle cuffs were placed, and then slid onto the floor of the van, belly down and head first, reportedly still verbally and physically active,” he added, referring to Gray’s condition during the second of five stops made by the police van.

The third stop was captured on video and shows the driver of the van, Goodson, getting out to look. After the fourth stop, Goodson called for assistance.

“The assisting officer opened the doors and observed Mr. Gray lying belly down on the floor with his head facing the cabin compartment, and reportedly he was asking for help, saying he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t get up, and needed a medic. The officer assisted Mr. Gray to the bench and the van continued on its way,” the autopsy states.

At the fifth stop, the officers picked up another detainee, only checking on the mortally wounded Gray after securing their new captive. At this point, Gray was “kneeling on the floor, facing the front of the van and slumped over to his right against the bench, and reportedly appeared lethargic with minimal responses to direct questions.”

Gray likely suffered fatal injury between the second and fourth stop, and perhaps before the third stop, according to the autopsy. He was probably killed as a result of being thrown against the metal walls of the van in the course of abrupt turns or stops on the part of the driver, according to the medical examiner.

An injury to the spine would have caused Gray to lose control of his arms and legs and would have impaired his ability to breathe, the report noted.

The autopsy has proven that Gray was in fact murdered by Baltimore police as a result of his “rough ride,” a euphemism used to describe the barbaric practice whereby police officers strap a detainee into a van unshackled and drive around the city, making sudden stops in order to intentionally cause injury to the person inside, who is typically shackled and without a seatbelt.


11 thoughts on “Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, autopsy confirms

  1. sojourner

    I’m more than glad the truth isn’t being squashed once again. I just wish I could believe this is a positive sign for Black Mericans and the justice system.

    But at least there should be some justice associated with this case.

    By the way, I am posting tomorrow, and then I am going to continue my search for info on self governing. I may just wait to post anything else until after the 1st of July. But even if I do post something between now and then, it will pertain only to the new direction.

    I was really sick again last night, and so I made up my mind I can’t do this anymore. It’s either change direction, drastically, or quit. I’m completely worn out on checking out what is wrong, when there are folks out there trying to point to WHAT COULD BE RIGHT,

    The other thing I was thinking about this morning was this: maybe in promoting a new way to live life, an alternative life to the one we have now, the people will be more willing to listen and take part, even if they never become completely aware of everything else. And just maybe the people going in an alternate direction will be the ultimate revolution that brings down this system/order?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newsfortherevolution Post author

      That’s an interesting idea, that people might be more open to listening to ideas promoting a new direction for society. Even those who accept the system is broken, still have a difficult time believing the depths to which the corruption goes. When confronted with it they shut it out. Maybe offering them an alternative to our current systems is the way to reach them. It will definitely force them to reflect on why things are so broken now.

      I’m sorry to hear you had a bad night. Maybe there’s something in the air, because last night was particularly bad for me as well. I couldn’t even keep my dinner down.

      I hope you are feeling a bit better today, and I think it’s a great idea to take a bit of a break. I’m really limiting the time a spend online, and like I said, when I’m feeling better, I’m going to focus on taking things in a new direction as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sojourner

        I’m sorry you were sick with the ulcers again. It’s the sinuses/asthma killing me.

        I have two posts left, and I’ll put those up tomorrow. And then, like I said, I am going to investigate and get some posts together.

        I never thought about it before today, but what if more people are aware, but are saying to themselves, “This system is hell, but it’s all we have. Anything else would be worse.” I can see myself being in this spot, if I hadn’t become aware of the alternatives,

        Even with the last few bad nights, I am excited about this new direction. I have never been much of a positive person. So maybe before I check out for good, I should try this path I’ve never taken before;-)

        I hope this illness passes from you quickly, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. newsfortherevolution Post author

        We should be positive for the future. One of the problems with focusing on all of the negativity, is that it fills us with despair and a sense of hopelessness. You start feeling like there’s no point in making an effort, and as we were saying yesterday, this takes its toll on our health.

        I hope this new direction you are taking is a rewarding one!

        Liked by 1 person

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