BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore police come forward with new video and new information about Freddie Gray’s arrest.
Rick Ritter has more on the new admissions from police.
Investigators say Freddie Gray should have received medical attention the second he was arrested. Police admit Gray was never buckled in their van—one that made three different stops.
New footage in the arrest of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray. Investigators release video and still images showing glimpses of his encounter with police.
But still, a community is on edge, waiting for answers to be delivered.
“We’re refining our investigation. We’re getting closer, and the picture is getting sharper,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore City Police Department.
The 25-year-old Gray was arrested April 12 and then fell into a coma at Shock Trauma. He died seven days later.
Police say it all started with a foot chase
“It’s a foot chase that’s not a short one. It goes through several streets,” said Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore City Police Department.
Police say when the lengthy foot chase ended along the 1700 block of Presbury Street, Gray should have immediately received medical attention—but never did.
“Our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times,” the commissioner said.
At 8:42 a.m., officers call a police transport van for Freddie Gray.
At 8:54, the wagon departs after placing Gray in additional restraints.
Shortly after, the van is requested to pick up another prisoner. Police say before the wagon leaves, there is some communication with Gray.
Then, at 9:24 a.m., paramedics are called. Gray is unresponsive.
“There’s multiple gaps we’re focusing on that I want more clear and definite information,” Commissioner Batts said.
What did happen inside that van? And why wasn’t Gray put in a seatbelt?
“We know that he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. No excuses for that—period,” said Batts.
Police are now focused on identifying the two witnesses seen on video at the time of Gray’s arrest.
Commissioner Batts acknowledged he’s been asked by some to resign, but says “that’s not going to happen.”
The big question: Did Freddie Gray suffer his life-threatening injury while inside a police transport van?
Meghan McCorkell has more.
Police now admit Freddie Gray was not seatbelted in that transport van, but what else happened inside the van is still a mystery.
“It’s clear that what happened, happened inside the van,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
But did Gray have a rough ride?
Law enforcement sources tell WJZ a rough ride is a police tactic, known as a “nickel ride,” where the van is driven to purposely toss around a suspect.
“It’s something that people on the street tell us a lot that happens,” said Michael Davey, FOP attorney.
Community leaders have heard the complaints.
“They have rough rides, they turn corners, they spin you around,” said Teresa Hill-Aston, NAACP Baltimore.
Baltimore City police have been sued multiple times by people who were severely injured in the back of prisoner transport vans.
In 2005, Dante Johnson Sr. died after he fell and snapped his neck in the back of a police van. His family was awarded more than $7 million in a suit with the city.
“There have been occasions across the law enforcement community where prisoners have been thrown around in the back of a prisoner transport vehicle,” said Rob Weinhold, Fallston Group.
Weinhold is a former Baltimore police officer turned crisis leadership expert who WJZ frequently interviews for perspective on law enforcement.
He says the department needs to look at the vans themselves.
“One of the recommendations I would have for the department is to make sure that there is both video and audio recording in the back of these prisoner transport vehicles,” said Weinhold.
A move the commissioner is already trying to implement.
Police officials say they have interviewed the other man that was inside the van in the compartment opposite Freddie Gray. They say he says the officer was not driving erratically.
Police transport vans are used in multiple other large cities, including Philadelphia and D.C.