US & Canada

Freddie Gray 'died from head injury in police van'

Protestors march after a rally for Freddie Gray Image copyright AP
Image caption The death of Freddie Gray has sparked both peaceful protest and violent rioting in Baltimore

Freddie Gray's fatal injuries were the result of slamming into the back of a Baltimore police van, a Washington TV station reported.

Citing police sources, WJLA reported that a medical examiner determined Gray's neck was broken when his head struck the back of the van.

Other injuries to his head matched the shape of a bolt in the van.

His death is one of several involving black Americans and police which has sparked unrest and national debate.

Baltimore police have admitted that Gray was not secured in the van by a seatbelt, against department policy, and that he requested medical attention while being transported in the van but was denied.

Video footage filmed by a passerby showed a visibly distressed Gray being handcuffed on the ground pushed into the back of the van. Police said he ran after seeing two officers, who chased him and arrested him when they found a switchblade-style knife in his trousers.

Image copyright BBC News

Gray lapsed into a coma following the journey on 12 April and died a week later.

Maryland medical examiner's office has refused to comment on cause of death while the investigation is ongoing.

New footage discovered

The van transporting Gray made a previously undisclosed fourth stop while en route to the police station, police revealed on Thursday.

Previously, police had said the van made three stops, including one to put him in leg irons and another to pick up different prisoner.

The fourth stop was captured on a CCTV camera outside a Korean food shop.

Image copyright Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
Image caption Freddie Gray

The shop's owner, Jung Hyun Hwang told the Associated Press news agency that police officers visited last week to make a copy of the recording - which was later lost when the shop was looted during the riots.

Mr Hwang said he had not viewed the recording and did not know what it showed.

Police said the footage was discovered during a view of public and private CCTV cameras in the area.

According to the police timeline of the arrest, the van took 30 minutes to take Gray to the police station, where paramedics were called.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Despite relative calm in Baltimore on Thursday, riot police were still massed in some areas

Investigators have now handed over their inquiry into Gray's death to the state's attorney's office.

The city's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, will now decide whether to take the case to a grand jury to seek an indictment of any of the six officers involved.

Five of the six officers involved in the arrest gave statements to investigators the day Gray was injured. All six have been suspended.

A separate investigation by the US department of justice is also under way.

After two nights of violent protests, Baltimore's streets were relatively calm on Thursday. The city is still under a curfew requiring people to be off the streets by 22:00 (02:00 GMT).

Police timeline of Freddie Gray's arrest

  • Sunday, 12 April, 08:39: Officers approach Gray and he flees on foot
  • 08:40: Gray arrested on corner of Presbury Street, Sandtown
  • 08:42: Police request a van
  • 08:54: Van departs with Gray inside, conscious and speaking
  • 08:54-09:24: Van makes a total of four stops between arrest and police station arrival
  • 09:24: Police request paramedics to take Gray to hospital

What we know about Gray's death

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