Baltimore, MD -- 27-year old Freddie Gray is now hospitalized in critical condition and in induced coma, after an incident with Baltimore police Sunday morning.
An eyewitness captured video footage of Gray being restrained and hauled into the back of a police van after being chased and arrested by bike cops. What happened after that is a mystery, as Freddie Gray is now unconscious in Shock Trauma with multiple injuries.
Gray's godbrother did not want to be identified, but he did give a statement after he left the ICU, saying "I seen police, him handcuffed, him tased while he was handcuffed. Iseen the police officer bending his leg to the point where it looked like he broke it. He was completely healthy, fine being carted off aside from his leg. It's nowhere near how he's sitting in the ICU right now."
According to the family, Gray has spinal injuries and is barely alive. Richard Shipley, Gray's stepfather, told local news affiliate WJZ, "His face is swollen. He just looks really horrible. Like I said, he's in an induced coma. We're all praying."
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Police will not say why the bike cops arrested the fleeing Gray, or how he ended up in the hospital in an induced coma. The arrest was described by witnesses as brutal, but Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said he did not see any use of force by police in the video, adding that the investigation was at an early stage.
"A number of officers made an arrest of a man who fled from them," Rodriguez stated. "This is a very serious incident, that we are looking at thoroughly. I have been on the phone with the State's Attorney's Office and we are going to work jointly on this investigation."
The officers involved in the mystery incident have been assigned to administrative duties.
While Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez denies any use of force in the video, there is a considerable amount of time not documented. So what happened after Freddie Gray was loaded into the police van to put him in critical condition? Did Gray receive a "nickel ride" from the fine folks at the Baltimore Police Department?
For those who don't know, "nickel rides," as reported by the Inquirer in 2001, were a witness-free way for police to punish unruly, uncooperative, or arrogant suspects – without ever laying a hand on them. For rogue police, it was a literal way to deliver “street justice.”
Anyone else with evidence of the arrest is being encouraged to contact police. Unfortunately, police have a history of tampering with and erasing video evidence incriminating them. We at The Free Thought Project encourage anyone with evidence regarding this situation to send it to [email protected] or any other media source you trust.