Baltimore City’s state’s attorney has filed murder charges against the officers involved in the Freddie Gray case. There seems little doubt of her bias, just in the way she delivers the announcement. Only in Baltimore. Freddie Gray was injured while enroute to the police station in a police paddy wagon. The Post quoted the other prisoner traveling with him as saying he was trying to injure himself – perhaps to find grounds for a lawsuit? We have not seen the coroner’s report. We do not know the circumstances of his death, and there are good reasons to question such a strong verdict, but the state’s attorney appears to be more bent on revenge than justice.
A senior law enforcement official with Baltimore City says that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told police to let rioters riot and looters loot. According to a report from Neil Cavuto, she said “Let them loot, it’s only property.” Watch the embedded video.
Meanwhile, the latest on the Freddie Gray story is that he may have had a spinal condition from youth stemming from lead poisoning. John Cardillo, mentioned elsewhere in this piece from an earlier update, is now saying Gray’s pre-existing condition may well have been a contributing factor in his subsequent injury and death. Gray was apparently treated as a youth by the Kennedy-Kreiger Institute, which specializes in such problems.
And the Washington Post is reporting that the prisoner sharing the van with Freddie Gray has provided testimony on his version of the events. The prisoner was separated by a partition and thus could not see Gray. According to the Post “he could hear Gray ‘banging against the walls’ of the vehicle and believed that he ‘was intentionally trying to injure himself.'” The Post obtained an application for a search warrant which contains this testimony.
Conservative Treehouse is reporting that Freddie Gray, Jr., the man whose death in police custody set off this weekend’s Baltimore riots, may have had spinal surgery just one week earlier. Court records unearthed by the Fourth Estate describe a structured settlement with Allstate Insurance Co. which they allege came from a car accident Gray was involved in.
Another post just up by criminal justice expert John Cardillo however, challenges the idea that cited civil litigation arose from an auto accident. Gray was a defendant, not a plaintiff in this recent case, which Cardillo says stemmed from litigation launched in 2008 by Freddie’s sister over lead poisoning years earlier. Cardillo harshly criticizes Fourth Estate for “highly unethical and irresponsible” reporting, given what he reveals to be the facts of the referenced case.
Fourth Estate has responded with a story released this evening stating that Freddie Gray had sued a taxi company, allegedly as the result of an accident, and the issue was settled in late 2010. The article also alleges a history of back problems.
Doubtless the city could put a lot of speculation to rest if it wanted. There was another detainee in the police wagon when Gray was arrested. Why can’t he be interviewed? Blake has come under heavy fire for condoning Baltimore rioters’ violence, specifically stating in a Saturday press conference that, in the interests of assuring “free speech rights” the city had given “those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.” Now she says her words were “twisted.”
Meanwhile, Governor Hogan has taken over emergency operations, walking the city late at night and supervising the curfew Rawlings-Blake declared would start Tuesday, the day after all the violence and looting. He covered for Blake’s gross incompetence at a press conference, where CNN’s Don Lemon grilled him — but not Blake — for not declaring a state of emergency and bringing in the National Guard sooner.
Of course that was all up to Blake, and she declined to ask for help until the city was already on fire, presumably having given the rioters all the “free speech” they needed, plus every other thing that wasn’t nailed down to boot. When Blake finally requested a state of emergency, “Within 30 seconds of receiving the call, I activated the National Guard,” Hogan said.
Yesterday, Martin Luther King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, called for Blake’s resignation. Dr. King stated in a letter to the mayor:
Your invitation to “give space for those who want to destroy” is unbelievable. This interpretation of rights to free speech is dangerous ma’am. In 1963, my father Rev. A.D. King, after the firebombing of our home in Birmingham, Ala. urged hostile protestors to abandon violence and turn to God in prayer instead.
Thank God they listened to him, and the even greater voice of his brother, my Uncle Martin Luther King during those turbulent days. Now, you are inviting violence to your city? Who ma’am, will incur the moral and economic costs of picking up the pieces? The innocent taxpayers?
Thank you Dr. King. When are liberals ever going to be forced to face the consequences of their disastrous policies, ideologies, and decisions? I guarantee you they will have to be forced, because not one will ever admit their destructive actions voluntarily. Instead, Blake is arrogantly denying she ever encouraged the rioters. And gratitude for Larry Hogan? Perish the thought. She has barely spoken to him, content with hiding out among friends to avoid the embarrassing limelight while he cleans up her disastrous mess.