A Baltimore man is clinging to life after an encounter with city police officers Monday, prompting an internal use-of-force investigation of the officers.
Part of the altercation was video recorded by a witness, showing the man screaming in pain as officers drag him to a police van.
The man’s leg appears disfigured and the women recording the incident can be heard screaming “his leg broken, look at his leg!”
However, the man, Freddie Gray, 27, is now in an induced coma and police are unable to explain why since that part was not captured on video.
They are also unable to tell local reporters why he was arrested in the first place.
“During that arrest, the video, which we believe captures only a portion of it, shows the officers attempting to detain this individual, keep him on the ground,” Deputy Commissioner of Internal Affairs Jerry Rodriguez said in a Monday afternoon press conference. “At no time , and I’ve seen the video a number of times, did I see the use of force at that moment, but again the video is a portion of the incident”
Gray suffered or more broken vertebrae, said his stepfather, Richard Shipley.
Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez would not elaborate on why the police stopped Gray or how he was injured. He simply acknowledged that Gray suffered “medical distress.”
“Right now we know this individual had contact with the police,” he said. “We know this individual suffered an injury. We don’t know what the cause is yet.”
Rodriguez probably knows, but he doesn’t care, considering he announced his retirement earlier today.
The announcement that Rodriguez is retiring comes during a federal review of city police policies and procedures, and on the eve of a town hall meeting the U.S. Department of Justice is holding to address brutality issues. The federal review was announced last year after a report in The Baltimore Sun found that the city had paid $5.4 million in the past five years to settle hundreds of cases of alleged police brutality.
The officers have been placed on administrative assignment until the investigation is complete, meaning they will continue collecting a paycheck while Gray lies in a hospital bed unconscious.
As we all know, these internal “investigations” are in many cases, thinly veiled cover-ups for police to exonerate their fellow officers and continue the cycle of corruption.
As this investigation is still in it’s infancy, it remains to be seen if justice will truly be served.