Before He Died, Freddie Gray Begged for Help and Officers Refused Him
by Josie Duffy –
New evidence made available in the death of Freddie Gray reveals he was begging for help and told police he needed to go to the hospital before he fell into a coma in the police van.The Baltimore Sun has obtained previously unreleased details on the death of Freddie Gray, including information from investigators who reviewed statements from five out of six of the officers accused of criminal wrongdoing.
These investigators detail how Gray asked an officer for help shortly before he fell into a coma which was caused by a severe spinal cord injury. The Sun reports:
Officer William Porter told police investigators that after being summoned to check on Gray on the morning of April 12, he told the van’s driver that the city booking facility would not process Gray because he was in medical distress.”Help me. Help me up,” Gray said.
Porter helped Gray up and asked, “Do you need a medic or something? Do you need to go to the hospital?”
When Gray responded affirmatively, Porter said he told the van’s driver, Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., that Central Booking wouldn’t accept Gray. Porter also told investigators he wasn’t sure if Gray was in distress, or trying to convince officers to take him to the hospital instead of jail.
At this point, Gray’s life was in grave danger from severe injuries suffered during his arrest. Not to mention, of course, that his arrest was illegal in the first place. Still, officers basically ignored his cries for help.There’s more below.
In her statement, White recalled Porter saying that Gray’s medical problem was “jail-itis” — a reference to not wanting to be confined. […]”Everybody plays the ‘I need to go to hospital’ thing when they get arrested,” Porter said in his statement.
Later, when asked by another officer if he needed help, Gray was unable to do much more than confirm his name with a “yeah.” The next time officers checked on him, he was completely unresponsive and it “looked like he wasn’t breathing.” He had slipped into a coma and never would wake up again. Seven days later, he was dead.All six officers involved in the arrest, transport, and care of Gray are facing charges.
It’s breathtaking that in America today, a young man was searched basically because he looked an officer in the eye. He was arrested for a crime that was actually not a crime at all. He was fatally injured by police as he screamed for mercy. And, after begging for help, those officers ignored his cries for medical attention. In what kind of free society is that acceptable?
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos