Freddie Gray suffered ‘high-energy injury’ – autopsy

The spinal injury to Freddie Gray, whose death in April triggered protests and rioting, was most likely caused when the police van in which he was riding suddenly decelerated, the Baltimore Sun reported, citing a copy of the autopsy report.

The state medical examiner’s office concluded Gray’s death fit the medical and legal definition of an accident. But it ruled the death to be a homicide because officers failed to follow safety procedures “through acts of omission”.

Gray (25) was arrested on April 12 following a foot chase by officers and suffered a severe spinal injury while in police custody.

His death a week later sparked protests over police brutality, as well as looting and rioting that drew national and international attention to the case.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office charged the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and death. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr, the driver of the van, is accused of second-degree depraved heart murder.

Three other officers are charged with manslaughter and two officers face lesser charges. The trial is set for October, and the officers have pleaded not guilty.

Thrown into wall
Though Gray was loaded into the van on his belly, the medical examiner surmised that he may have got to his feet and was thrown into the wall during an abrupt change in direction, the Baltimore Sun said.

He was not belted in, but his wrists and ankles were shackled, making him “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van,” the newspaper said, citing the autopsy report.

The report was completed on April 30, the day before State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the criminal charges. The autopsy has not been made public.

Mosby’s office and the state medical examiner had no immediate response to requests for comment. – Reuters

Make sense of your world

Subscribe to Mail & Guardian at R10/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Landmark battle over River Club imperils Amazon HQ plans

If the high court in Cape Town rules for an interim interdict in the River Club project to halt building on heritage land, Amazon is likely to pull out

What will it take to halt institutional decay and defend...

Selfless leaders and engaged citizens must protect their nations from seeping into failure during their transition to democracy

Worry about food prices, not heavy rains

Farmers face higher input costs such as hikes in fertilisers and fuel prices as well as the expected 20.5% electricity hike requested by Eskom, says AgriSA

Kidnapping in Mayfair: Claims and counterclaims

More revelations in multimillion-rand Mayfair kidnapping
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×