According to a newly obtained police document, a prisoner who was in the police van with Freddie Gray said that he could hear Gray “intentionally trying to injure himself.” The Washington Post acquired the document, which was written by a police investigator who recorded the prisoner’s statement. It goes on to say that the prisoner, who was separated from Gray in the vehicle by a metal partition, could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the van.
Gray’s family said that they were not told beforehand that the prisoner had made a comment.
“We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” family attorney Jason Downs said to the Post. “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr. Gray was arrested without force or incident.”
Jayne Miller, a reporter for an NBC affiliate in Baltimore who has been investigating the case, has dismissed the document, saying that it contradicts medical reports. She points out that according to her investigative reporting, Gray was likely unresponsive by the time the van stopped to pick up a second passenger. She also notes that if Gray were intentionally trying to hurt himself, he would have more widespread injuries.
“The medical evidence does not suggest at all that he was able to injure himself,” Miller said. “The force of this injury, akin to have the force involved in a car accident with all that momentum going, that is much more force than you would get trying to bang your head against the wall of the van.”
The police department hasn’t released any details revealing how Gray sustained a severed spine and three broken vertebrae. Today, however, the department completed their internal investigation and turned the findings over to Marilyn Mosby, a 35-year-old state attorney who is a Black woman. Mosby, who is married to Baltimore city councilman Nick Mosby, will determine whether or not to press charges on any officers she finds responsible.
“While we have and will continue to leverage the information received by the Department, we are not relying solely on their findings but rather the facts that we have gathered and verified,” Mosby said in a statement “We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system.”