Baltimore, Md. – The long awaited autopsy report in the death of Freddie Gray confirmed that he died of a single “high-energy” injury event, which was most likely the result of a sudden deceleration of the van in which he was riding.
The reasoning behind not ruling the death accidental was that officers’ failed to follow standard safety protocols “through acts of omission,” according to the state medical examiner’s office.
Gray, 25, was taken into custody by officers on April 12, after a short foot pursuit. While in the back of the police van, Gray suffered a severe spinal injury that resulted in his death a week later.
Police claim that they had Gray shackled by his wrists and ankles, but that they failed to secure him in a seat belt. This is actually an off the books police method of extrajudicial punishment, know as a “nickel ride.”
The medical examiner theorized that during the ride Gray may have attempted to get off the ground, but due to the fact that he was not secured by a belt, but had shackles on, he was potentially “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van.”
Baltimore erupted in protests and rioting in the wake of Gray’s needless death.
Six police officers have been charged in the death of Gray, with officer Caesar Goodson, the vans driver, facing a second-degree murder charge. Three other officers are currently facing manslaughter charges, with the remaining officers facing a variety of less serious charges.
Had this event not been filmed you can be certain that this incident would have been swept under the rug, without anyone ever being held accountable.
How many more incidents, similar to the death of Freddie Gray exist, in which no one has ever been held responsible simply because they wear a badge?