BALTIMORE — A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.
The 25-year-old Gray was found unconscious in the wagon when it arrived at a police station on April 12. He had somehow suffered a spinal injury and was apparently in considerable pain. He had asked for help repeatedly on the ride to the station. He began banging on the walls of the the police wagon when he was ignored. The wagon made several stops, but none to give him assistance. He was taken to the police station, left untreated, and died a week later.
It is this widespread insensitivity of police that has brought the issue of police behavior to the forefront of public attention and caused this groundswell of outrage. From Sanford to Ferguson to Baltimore, the tension between poor and black communities and the police continue to escalate. Monday’s riots are just a repeat of the angry protests that result from a deep-seated frustration that is largely ignored by authorities and only acknowledged after violence erupts, sending the curious and surely unintended message that if you set fire to buildings, loot stores and confront police with bottles and rocks, your issues will at long last be heard.