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“Deflecting From The Full Truth”: Prisoner Was Wrong; Freddie Gray Didn’t Kill Himself

Before the second prisoner was even in the police van, Freddie Gray asked the police for medical assistance.

So you have to wonder why on earth a man who had just asked for help would then try to hurt himself—as the second prisoner supposedly concluded after he was picked up at the next stop a few minutes later.

The opinion of the second prisoner is reportedly contained in a search-warrant application prepared by a police investigator and now leaked to The Washington Post.

Somebody leaked the sealed document for a reason, just as the police were preparing to turn over the results of their investigation to the Baltimore state’s attorney. There is nothing to stop the Baltimore Police Department from also publicly disclosing its major findings, as it largely did after its initial investigation soon after Gray’s death. The only significant detail the BPD added on Thursday while announcing its probe was complete was that private security video indicated the van had made an additional, previously unreported stop.

But what the police have already disclosed is enough to suggest why the second prisoner might have believed Gray was trying to hurt himself—and why he was almost certainly mistaken

After the stop where he asked for medical assistance and medical assistance was denied to him, Gray seems to have resumed signaling his need for help by the only means available—by banging on the inside of the van.

Gray may even have imagined that the police were heeding him when the van stopped again a few minutes later.

Imagine his desperation when he realized that the van had stopped only to pick up another prisoner. Gray’s resumed banging must have been all the more insistent, all the more frantic.

As reported by The Washington Post, the second prisoner came to the conclusion that Gray was trying to hurt himself without ever actually seeing him, the two of them having been separated by a metal partition.

The second prisoner could only have based his opinion on the sounds of Gray banging against the inside of the van.

And the banging must have been pretty frantic indeed for it to seem that Gray was trying to hurt himself.

More likely, what sounded to the prisoner like an effort to self-inflict injury was a renewed plea for assistance.

Gray had learned at the time of his arrest that the police seemed deaf to his cries of pain.

All Gray could do once he was locked inside the van was bang on the interior. And that banging prompted the police to make three prior stops.

At the first, the police found Gray to be “irate” and “combative.” They then placed him in leg irons.

Gray also could have simply been frantic, and he had kept banging loud enough for the police to stop a second time five minutes later, and call for a cop to check on him in the back.

The purpose of that banging seems to have been made clear when Gray asked for medical assistance.

The police response was apparently limited to lifting him off the floor of the van where he had apparently fallen and returning him to the bench.

The van then rode on with Gray continuing to signal his distress, along that way making a third stop for reason the BPD has not disclosed or simply not yet determined. He most likely thought that his banging was prompting a fourth stop when the van again pulled over, and that medical assistance might be near.

But all that happened was another prisoner was loaded aboard, unseen and unseeing behind the metal partition. Gray was now apparently so desperate in his banging for help that he led the other prisoner to believe he was trying to injure himself.

Just six blocks later, the van arrived at the police station. The banging ceased, but not because Gray believed that he was getting help. It stopped because he was unconscious.

Medical assistance finally came in the person of paramedics who transported him to a shock trauma hospital, where he later died.

Now it is up to the authorities to tell us what they know before leakers manage to deflect us from the full truth.

At least we already know enough to reach a conclusion: If it sounded like Gray sought to injure himself in that van, it was after he had been making those very same sounds to signal he needed help.

The banging that second prisoner heard was the banging of a man who was just six blocks away from being beyond all help.

 

By: Michael Daly, The Daily Beast, April 30, 2015

May 1, 2015 - Posted by | Baltimore, Baltimore Police Dept, Police Brutality | , , , , ,

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