Every time you think you've heard a story that has to qualify as the worst example of police brutality, another one comes along to prove you wrong. This time, the city of Baltimore is in turmoil after a 27-year-old man died of a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. Six police officers have been suspended in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray. Police chased and arrested Gray on April 12 after reportedly seeing him run away from them unprovoked. Shortly after making the arrest, police called for emergency medical services. What little information there is about what happened to Gray between when police chased after him and when he was taken to the hospital with his fatal injuries comes from police records. According to a charging document obtained by Baltimore's WBAL-TV, Gray suffered a "medical emergency" while being transported by police, but there are no more recorded details. Adding to the mystery of what happened is a timeline released by police of Gray's arrest and transport, which includes a 30-minute gap between when the police transport left and when officers called for help. Gray was picked up only three blocks from the police station. "I understand the community’s frustration," Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference on Monday. "I understand it because I’m frustrated. I’m angry that we are here again, that we have had to tell another mother that [her] child is dead."
As was shown in video of the recent shooting of Walter Scott by a white police officer in South Carolina, the reality of confrontations between police and citizens is often very different from the official record, when records even exist. Billy Murphy, an attorney for Gray's family, has already called out the Baltimore Police for trying to cover up what happened. "They raised questions, they promise transparency, and then we didn't get it, and we didn't get any questions to the ones they raised," he said in a news conference Monday night. Protesters have already taken to the streets in cities like Baltimore and New York to demand justice for Gray's family. A task force is investigating Gray's death, but no criminal charges have been filed against any officers.