Freddie Gray did not die as the result of injuries sustained during his arrest earlier this month, a police investigation found, according to law enforcement officials who were briefed on the matter.
According to WJLA, a medical examiner determined that Gray suffered a head injury that is consistent with a bolt from the back of a police transport van the 25-year-old was placed in following his April 12 arrest. At some point after being detained, Gray sustained a broken neck. He died on April 19 after falling into a coma and undergoing several surgeries.
Many have speculated that Gray suffered a severed spine or head injury during the course of his arrest. Video from the arrest showed two police officers on top of Gray, one with his knee in the man’s back. The video then shows the officers dragging Gray, who is heard crying out, to the police van.
Gray’s head injury is consistent with two theories floating around about the cause of his death.
Gray may died as the result of slamming around in the back of the police van, some have asserted. Others have claimed that Gray may have been the victim of what’s called a “rough ride.” That’s when the driver starts and stops the vehicle in order to throw the handcuffed and unrestrained prisoner off balance, causing them to slam around in the back of the vehicle.
Another possibility that emerged Wednesday night is that Gray sustained an injury after slamming around on his own. The Washington Post reported that investigators interviewed a 38-year-old man who had been arrested after Gray and placed in the same transport van. The man, who said he could not see Gray, allegedly told investigators that he “heard banging against the walls” of the van and believed that Gray may have been “intentionally trying to injure himself.” (RELATED: This Report Could Change The Freddie Gray Narrative)
Gray’s family and protesters have alleged that Gray was either the victim of police brutality or of police negligence. Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts said last week that Gray did not receive medical care in a timely manner but has so far not shared any findings of the investigation into Gray’s injuries.
Baltimore police turned the results of their investigation as well as the medical examiner’s preliminary findings over to the state attorney’s office.
The state attorney will determine whether any of the six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport will be charged.