A highly disturbing sign has been photographed inside the prisoner transport vans used by the Baltimore Police Department, the same type of van that Freddie Gray was killed inside after being subjected to a “rough ride” that severed 80% of his spine.
“Enjoy your ride, cuz we sure will!” the signs assert.
While Gray’s story captured global attention due to the uprising that followed, the Baltimore police are not strangers to using their driving as a weapon against those detained.
The department has reportedly paid out millions of dollars in settlements to victims who were injured during “nickel rides,” the common term for intentionally driving erratically to cause injury to unbuckled prisoners in the back. The victims are handcuffed, and sometimes shackled, and unable to brace themselves as sharp corners are taken, or fast stops or bumps.
Christine Abbott was one of those victims, and is suing the police department after she was badly injured from what she and her attorneys claim was an intentional rough ride.
“On November 22, 2013 Christine Abbott (and The Norman Law Firm) filed alawsuit in the United States District Court for Maryland against Baltimore City Police Officers because the officers assaulted her in the course of an unlawful arrest, and subjected her to a violent ride in a police van which violated the written policies of the Police Department, and caused Abbott significant injury,” a statement to the press reads.
Now that deliberate rough transport is in the spotlight, the department is playing dumb regarding the seemingly professionally made and installed signs. They do not deny the images are real.
“The nature and the posting of wording in one of our transport vehicles is both concerning and unacceptable,” Rashawn Strong, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, told Mashable. “We have recently become aware of the wording, and have begun an internal investigation to determine all the circumstances surrounding its placement, and to identify the person or persons responsible for its posting.”
It is slightly hard to believe that the department was previously unaware of the threats posted across the back doors of their vehicles.