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

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Entertainment news: SA films at Cannes, K Naomi & Omuhle’s awkward Twitter moment

From actor Terry Pheto making her producer debut at Cannes to a Twitter catfight and Prince's reaction to Freddie Gray's death, here's our round-up.
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Fifteen witnesses for vice-chancellor probe

Sefako Makgatho University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mbati had interdicted parliament last month from continuing with the inquiry

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation

Audi Q8: Perfectly cool

The Audi Q8 is designed to be the king in the elite SUV class. But is it a victim of its own success?

KZN officials cash in on ‘danger pay for Covid-19’

Leadership failures at Umdoni local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal have caused a ‘very unhappy’ ANC PEC to fire the mayor and chief whip
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday