Last Monday, violence erupted, cars were destroyed, businesses were trashed and police officers were injured. Hell broke out in Baltimore this week before we knew the fate of Freddie Gray, the arrested man who died in police custody, and until now, no explanation has been given.
Now, news is surfacing of what may have happened. Peter Herman of the Washington Post reported today that ….a prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to an investigative document obtained by the newspaper.
The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.
The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version.
Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12. The 25-year-old had suffered a spinal injury and died a week later, touching off waves of protests across Baltimore, capped by a riot Monday in which hundreds of angry residents torched buildings, looted stores and pelted police officers with rocks.
Police have said they do not know whether Gray was injured during the arrest or during his 30-minute ride in the van. The account by the prisoner contained in the affidavit is just one piece of an ongoing investigation by local police and the U.S. Justice Department.
Baltimore police said they will wrap up their investigation Friday and turn the results over to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether to seek an indictment. Six police officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, have been suspended.
In spite of lack of evidence regarding his death, violence and looting overtook much of West Baltimore on Monday, 4/27. injuring more than a dozen police officers and leaving buildings and vehicles in flames.
The Mayor did nothing to restrain the thugs who were looting and destroying property. According to Neil Cavuto of Fox News, A senior Baltimore law enforcement official said that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told police officials,“Let them loot. It’s only property.”
No, Mayor, it wasn’t only property.
As night fell last Monday, looters took to Mondawmin Mall and a Save-A-Lot and Rite Aid in Bolton Hill, loading up cars with stolen goods. About 10 fire crews battled a three-alarm fire at a large senior center under construction at Chester and Gay streets, as police officers stood guard with long guns.
About 10 p.m., police confirmed shots were fired at an officer in the area of Virginia Avenue and Reisterstown Road in Northwest Baltimore. The officer was not hit and the suspect fled.
Fifteen police officers were injured in a clash with school-age children that began around 3 p.m., and two remain hospitalized, police Col. Darryl DeSousa said in a press conference Monday night. Earlier, police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said one officer was unresponsive and others suffered broken bones. Police arrested 27 people, DeSousa said.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake finally declared a curfew across the city starting Tuesday and for the next week, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for adults and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for children aged 14 and younger. She drew a distinction between peaceful protesters and “thugs” she said engaged in rioting Monday intend on “destroying our city.”