A man injured after being arrested by Baltimore City Police Department has died in the hospital a week after his arrest, and his family wants to know how he was so gravely injured while in police custody.
The man was injured, although it is unsure how or to what extent, during a videotaped encounter with police, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Gray allegedly ran from police when they tried to stop him, and was apprehended by four bicycle officers before being put, in restraints, into a transport van around 8:40 p.m. on April 12.
According to a police timeline published by CBS Baltimore, approximately one hour later, an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital from the Western District police station. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
Gray’s stepfather, Richard Shipley, said Monday night that his son had suffered several broken vertebrae and was in an induced coma. He confirmed to reporters Sunday that his son had died after undergoing spinal surgery at Shock Trauma earlier in the week.
Gray’s injuries have sparked protests in Baltimore, and prompted an internal use-of-force investigation of the arresting officers.
Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez gave a statement regarding the video on Monday, saying that it was only a portion of the “incident.”
“During that arrest, the video, which we believe captures only a portion of it, shows the officers attempting to detain this individual, keep him on the ground. There’s a lot of screaming and yelling; there’s a lot of folks in the background.”
“At no time — and I’ve seen the video a number of times — did I see the use of force at that moment,” said the commissioner, “But again the video is a portion of the incident.”
However, an attorney for Gray’s family, William Murphy Jr., says he believes the police are trying to keep the facts secret until they can “develop a version of events that will absolve them of all responsibility.”
Murphy claims that Gray was healthy at the time of his arrest, and insists there was no evidence he had committed a crime. He says that Gray’s spine was “80 [percent] severed at the neck” while he was in police custody, and that he died and was resuscitated before his spinal surgery at Shock Trauma.
Police have not released details on how Gray was injured or why police attempted to stop him, but Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has promised a full investigation into the man’s injury and death.
“I understand the frustration of the community and I take very seriously my obligation of transparency. However we also have to balance that with our obligation to ensure a proper and thorough investigation is undertaken. Therefore we have to move forward in a responsible way to determine all the facts of this incident so that we can provide the community with answers.”
Citizen videos of alleged police brutality have been in the news quite a bit recently, such as this video reported by the Inquisitr of some officers who appeared to allow a K-9 to maul an unconscious man to death.
Do you think citizen videos of police incidents are a good idea, or do they just cause controversy?
[Images via WJZ and YouTube]