Posted on April 30, 2015

Freddie Gray Death: New Narratives Question Police Brutality Claim

Holly Yan, CNN, April 30, 2015

Two new accounts of what happened to Freddie Gray question the narrative that has fueled protests in Baltimore–the claim that Gray died as a result of police brutality.

The first comes from a relative of one of the officers involved in the arrest. She told CNN the officer thinks Gray was injured while he was being arrested–before he was put inside a police van.

The second is an account from a prisoner who was in the same police van, as published in The Washington Post. The prisoner reportedly told investigators he thought Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself.”


The woman who spoke to CNN did so on the condition of anonymity. She is related to the officer, but said the officer didn’t request the interview.

The relative said she worries all six of the officers who encountered Gray the day he was arrested will be incriminated, when only some might be responsible.

“Six officers did not injure this man,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon. “Six officers didn’t put him in the hospital. I’m worried that instead of them figuring out who did, that six officers are going to be punished behind something that maybe one or two or even three officers may have done to Freddie Gray.”

She also told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the officer doesn’t know how Gray was injured, but said he believes it happened during the arrest

“He believes that Freddie Gray was injured outside the paddy wagon,” the relative said.

She also gave an explanation of why Gray was not buckled into the police van: he appeared belligerent.

“They didn’t want to reach over him. You were in a tight space in the paddy wagon. He’s already irate,” she said.

“He still has his teeth and he still has his saliva. So in order to seat-belt somebody you have to get in their personal space. They’re not going to get in his personal space if he’s already irate.”


Wednesday night, protesters took to the streets Baltimore once again, demanding change and accountability for Gray’s death.

For the second night in a row, a 10 p.m. curfew went into effect. And for the second night in a row, the crowd dissipated peacefully, preventing a repeat of Monday night’s riots.

But a protest in New York City turned out differently. Police said more than 100 people were arrested during a “NYC Rise Up & Shut It Down With Baltimore” rally.

In Denver, police made nine arrests during a similar protest Wednesday night. {snip}