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Cops: Freddie Gray killed himself

Baltimore, despite having a black mayor and a black police commissioner, is one of America’s worst-run cities and has one of the country’s most notoriously corrupt and abusive police departments.

This week’s Baltimore riots — which pitted rock-throwing kids against riot police — are America’s urban-ghetto version of a peasant uprising. An uprising which, if you believe Mother Jones, was orchestrated and instigated by the police themselves.

According to teachers, students, and other witnesses, the police forced students trying to go home to disembark from school buses and “corralled” them inside a police cordon, and then the kids obliged them by doing what they were supposed to do: Create a photo-op for police propagandists by attacking the cops and breaking store windows.

A week ago, Freddie Gray was a healthy 25-year-old. After 30 minutes in police custody, he was dying, and a week later he was dead. Since then, the police have held press conferences to inform the public and media they’ve conducted an investigation, and they’re not going to tell the public and media what their investigation found. Practically everything we know about Gray’s fatal arrest has come from videos taken by bystanders the police couldn’t control or cover up.

Now, the cops’ carefully plowed field is producing a green shoot of an official explanation of how Freddie Gray sustained a broken neck and severed spinal cord while shackled hand and foot inside a police van. Here it is:

“According to a sealed court document, a witness alleged that Freddie Gray—whose April death has triggered days of protests in the city—may have been deliberately attempting to injure himself while in police custody:

‘A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

‘The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.’

“It’s easy to see how a sealed document like that, drafted by a police investigator, might have leaked to the press in spite of the court order, and in spite of the police department’s general aura of secrecy. If Gray’s injuries were self-inflicted, the police department is off the hook.”

(Source: Mother Jones; click here for story.)

So there it is: According to a report drafted by a police investigator, deliberately leaked to the press in defiance of a court order — which happens to be virtually the only thing that has escaped from the black hole of official secrecy enshrouding the entire incident — says Gray killed himself. Anyone who believes this, is naive.

Governments have centuries of experience with executing people by breaking their necks. They stand the person on a trap door, tie a rope around his neck, and drop him several feet. But it doesn’t always work. Lots of hangings are botched, with the drop failing to break the prisoner’s neck, and leaving him to strangle to death.

Now explain to me how some guy with his hands and feet shackled and sitting in a police van can break his neck by beating his head against the side wall of the van. That story is complete and utter bullpucky, concocted by a police department that has every motivation to cover up a police killing of a black man whose offense, if there was one, was possessing a pocketknife.

Even beyond its implausibility, there are serious problems with this story. Among other things, a local TV reporter tweeted:

“BPD Commissioner Anthony Batts on 4/23 told us second prisoner in police van said Freddie Gray was ‘mostly quiet’.

 

and

“BPD Comm Anthony Batts says 2nd prisoner in van with Freddie Gray reports no erratic driving by van driver and Gray mostly quiet”

and

“We have reported that when van stopped to pick up 2nd prisoner, sources say, Gray was unresponsive. No evidence banging head against van”

ap_baltimore_police_press_conference_jc_150430_4x3_992Do you see a pattern here yet? The Baltimore PD is trying to manage the narrative, so that wherever the chips ultimately fall, they don’t fall on their corrupt department or their killer cops; and if they can also discredit the victim and the outraged black community, so much the better.

Photo: All you need to complete this scene is a bull and a shovel. 

 


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