At least one police officer warned fellow officers that Freddie Gray, the young Baltimore man who died as a result of injuries he suffered while being transported in the back of a police in April, needed medical attention. But that officer and others questioned whether or not he was faking his injuries, according to newly released documents obtained by the Baltimore Sun.
At one point Gray pleaded with an officer. “Help me. Help me up,” Gray said, according to a statement to investigators given by Officer William Porter, one of the six officers charged in Gray’s death.
Porter reportedly helped Gray up and asked, “Do you need a medic or something? Do you need to go to the hospital?”
The police intake center would not take Gray because he required medical attention. When Porter told another officer, Caesar Goodson, Jr.,the van’s driver, Goodson reportedly questioned if the gravely injured Gray was feigning being hurt.
Gray would die in a hospital several days later as a result of severe head and spinal injuries. These accounts contradict what other officers have said, specifically about any knowledge that Gray was in need of medical attention while in police custody.
The new revelations come months after Gray’s death sparked mass protests and riots and amid an spike in violence in the city that some have connected to the tense divide between police and the black community. They also help piece together the final moments if the 25-year-old’s death spiral.
Six Baltimore officers have been charged with murder and related charges in connection with Gray’s deaths. In light of the recently revealed statements a judge has ordered six separate trials for each of the officers involved.
The Baltimore Sun obtained exclusive access to the police department’s investigation and analyzed police summaries of the officers accounts given to investigators, and first published the new accounts on Sunday.
Prosecutor’s have been aggressive in their pursuit of the officers as a national call for police accountability has rung since the deaths of several black men and women at the hands of the police. Attorneys for the officers have claimed their clients statements should be suppressed and that they were made under duress.
In other recent developments in the case the city settled with Gray’s family to the tune of $6.4 million in its civil case against the city.