Baltimore, MD — As the long legal process in the case of Freddie Gray begins to unfold, a spotlight is now shining on the brutal practices of the Baltimore Police Department.
As we documented last month, Freddie Gray was more than likely the victim of what police call “Nickel Rides.” Nickel Rides are a horrific police torture tactic where a suspect is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van without restraints, and driven recklessly around town by police officers. This practice has also been called a “Rough Ride” or a “Cowboy Ride.”
Now it has been revealed that many detainees in Baltimore are too injured to enter the jail when they are brought in by the arresting officers. According to documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun, correctional officers at the Baltimore City Jail actually refused to admit close to 2,600 suspects because they were too badly injured. These arrests reportedly took place between June 2012 and April 2015.
One point that was not specified in the documents obtained by the Baltimore Sun was whether or not these injuries were inflicted by the officers. It should be safe to say that in many of these cases, if not most, that the injuries were in fact inflicted by the officers. The report did indicate that head injuries were one of the most common reasons for detainees being unable to enter the jails, along with broken bones and facial trauma.
In many cases, police are able to inflict any kind of harm they want to on detainees before they are taken to jail. Unless the person shows significant and obvious signs of injury, then they will usually not get medical care, and will be left to sit in pain in a jail cell.
In other cases, detainees with pre-existing medical conditions see their health problems become exacerbated by the physical abuse of the arrest or the confines of the prison. When inmates with pre-existing conditions complain of their health during imprisonment or detainment they are often totally ignored by officers, or treated even more harshly than inmates who are being quiet.
Many of these inmates, unfortunately, are ignored until they die in the cell.
This is not a problem that is limited to Baltimore, but is a symptom of the institution that exists in every city across the country.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.