Tag Archives: Justice For Freddie

Report: Thousands Of Suspects In Baltimore Arrests Required Medical Attention

The mysterious death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was denied medical attention and died from a severe spinal injury while in police custody, has led many to question how often suspects obtain injuries from their encounters with police officers, and how many of them receive proper medical care.

The Baltimore Sun reported that according to records obtained through a Maryland Public Information Act request, the Baltimore City Detention Center has “refused to admit nearly 2,600 detainees who were in police custody” between June 2012 and April 2015, with intake officers citing injuries such as “fractured bones, facial trauma and hypertension.”

While the records obtained by the Sun redacted the names of the detainees, the report used the story of Salahudeen Abdul-Aziz as an example of what many suspects endure. Abdul-Aziz was denied entry to Baltimore’s detention center after he was brought in by police with a broken nose, a fractured face and other injuries. He went to court, on the claim that he had been beaten by police and then arrested, and he was awarded $170,000 by a jury in 2011.

In Gray’s case, he was arrested on April 12, after he made eye contact with Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice, and then took off running. Rice, who had been suspended from the Baltimore Police Department and had his guns confiscated twice for mental health issues and for reported stalking, harassment and threats of violence, pursued Gray and arrested him, claiming that he was carrying an illegal knife.

Both a picture of the knife Gray was carrying, and an explanation behind the cause of the severe spinal injury that led to his death on April 19, have yet to be made public.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on May 1 that the knife Gray was carrying was legal, that Gray was arrested illegally, and his death was ultimately ruled a homicide. Six officers have been charged for Gray’s death and they were all released on bonds ranging from $250,000 to $350,000 the same day.

Gray, who was healthy prior to his arrest, is suspected to have severed his spine during the 45 minutes he spent in a police transport van, which made four stops on its way to the jail. According to Mosby, at least five of Gray’s requests for medical attention were not answered by officers.

The Baltimore Sun reported that after investigating over 100 lawsuits against Baltimore city police officers, where the city “paid more than $6 million in court judgments and settlements,” it found that “dozens of residents accused police of inflicting severe injuries during questionable arrests and disregarding appeals for medical attention.”

While some criminologists and law enforcement experts say that suspects often fake injuries to avoid being put in a jail cell, the Sun noted that they also say Gray’s death “shows that police lack adequate training to detect injuries.”

A. Dwight Pettit, an attorney who has sued many Baltimore officers over the last 40 years, told the Baltimore Sun the data proves that the officers don’t really care about their public.

It goes to demonstrate the callous indifference the officers show when they are involved with the public,” said Pettit. “Why would they render medical care when they rendered many of the injuries on the people?”

On Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the city’s police force for the practices of excessive use of force and civil rights violations.

Officer Who Pursued Freddie Gray Has History of Violence, Mental Health Issues

Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice, the officer who initially pursued 25-year-old Freddie Gray after Gray “caught his eye” and then took off running, has been involved in previous incidents that resulted in his suspension and the confiscation of his guns, according to a recent report.

Gray, who was chased by Baltimore Police and then arrested for allegedly carrying an illegal knife on April 12, suffered a severe spinal injury and died in police custody on April 19.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday that Gray was arrested illegally, and ruled his death a homicide. Six officers were charged, and then released on bonds ranging from $250,000 to $350,000 the same day.

Rice was one of the six officers charged in Gray’s death, and his charges include one count of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second degree assault, two counts of misconduct while in office, and one count of false imprisonment.

The Baltimore Sun noted that Rice was hired by the Baltimore Police Department in 1997, was promoted to lieutenant in 2011, and reported an annual salary of about $88,000 in 2014.

In April 2012, Rice was “given an administrative suspension after being hospitalised for a mental health evaluation” when he threatened to shoot himself, and he was disciplined by the department when a temporary restraining order was filed against him by his ex-girlfriend’s husband, according to a report from The Guardian.

Andrew McAleer, the husband of Karyn McAleer, who is Rice’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young son, was granted a restraining order against Rice in Jan. 2013. To obtain the order, Andrew McAleer, who is a firefighter in Baltimore, filed a 10-page complaint citing a “pattern of intimidation and violence.”

The full document was first published by The Guardian, and in it, McAleer claims that he is filing an order against Rice for threats of violence, harassment, stalking, and trespassing.

[pull_quote_center]”Within the last 30 days, an event occurred initiated by Brian Rice that has caused me to have constant fear for my personal safety from Brian Rice,” wrote McAleer. “The January 19, 2013, incident and a pattern of harassment, stalking, trespassing, and serious threat of bodily harm by Brian Rice with a concealed Glock handgun that he is authorized to carry by Baltimore City Police Department are detailed in the plea for protection.”[/pull_quote_center]

McAleer described the incident on Jan. 19, 2013, as a final straw, after Rice’s patterns of harassment began in March 2012. He said that his wife, who is also a Baltimore police officer, was at work, and he was “conducting personal errands” while their children were home alone. McAleer said that when he returned home, he stepped out of his car and Rice’s Hyundai Sonata immediately pulled into the driveway.

According to McAleer’s complaint, the fact that Rice pulled up right after McAleer did, made McAleer fear that Rice was stalking him. McAleer said Rice got out of his car, started waving his arms and yelling something unintelligible, and then got back in his car and began to rev his engine, flash his headlights, and inch his car towards McAleer, before pulling out of the driveway.

The Guardian reported that Rice was suspended and his weapons, including his personal 9mm handgun, two rifles and two shotguns, were initially confiscated in April 2012, after an emergency call was made reporting that he had threatened to shoot himself, and that he was put on administrative suspension once again, with his guns confiscated, after McAleer was granted a week-long peace order.

Baltimore Rioter Faces Higher Bail Than Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death

Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old who turned himself in to the Baltimore police after he smashed the window of a police car with a traffic cone during a riot that followed the death of Freddie Gray, now faces a higher bail than the six police officers who were charged in Gray’s death.


The Guardian reported that Bullock was charged with “eight criminal counts, including rioting and malicious destruction of property,” after he turned himself in to the police, after being convinced by his parents that it was better to turn himself in, than to wait for the police to come find him.

By turning himself in he also let me know he was growing as a man and he recognized what he did was wrong,” said Maurice Hawkins, Bullock’s step-father. “But they are making an example of him and it is not right.”

Bobbi Smallwood, Bullock’s mother, told The Guardian that she just wanted Bullock to do the right thing, and that while she does think he needs to be punished, she thinks the sum of half a million dollars is an excessive amount. “It is just so much money,” Smallwood said. “Who could afford to pay that?

As previously reported, Baltimore State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday that Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide, and that six officers will face charges, including Officer William G. Porter, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller, Sergeant Alicia D. White and Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.

While Goodson faces the most severe charges, including misconduct in office, manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and second-degree depraved-heart murder, his bail was set for $350,000, according to Vox. Goodson was the officer who drove the police van, and if convicted of second-degree murder, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

The Associated Press reported that all six officers charged in Gray’s death were released on Friday on bonds ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.

An Indiegogo campaign was started in honor of helping Bullock’s family raise the money to pay his bail. It describes Bullock’s actions by saying that he was “so angry at the lack of information that he broke the windows of a police cruiser,” and that after owning up to his actions, he turned himself into the local authorities. However, the page claims that the police “set at an astronomically high” bail at $500,000 as a way to “make an example” out of Bullock.

On Monday, the campaign for Bullock had raised $5,825 in 4 days, from 269 contributors, which is approximately one percent of the $500,000 goal. The campaign has 27 days left.