Given several opportunities to get medical care for Freddie Gray—the Baltimore man who died of a broken neck while in police custody this week—officers failed each time, Commissioner Anthony W. Batts admitted at a press conference Friday.
“No excuses from me. Period,” Batts told reporters yesterday afternoon. “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.”
At the first stop, Gray was placed in leg irons. The driver stopped a second time “to deal with Mr. Gray and the facts of that interaction are under investigation,” [Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin] Davis said. The van stopped one more time to add a second prisoner.
Batts told reporters that at the third stop an officer saw Gray on the floor of the van, asking for a medic. The officer and the van driver picked him up and put him on the seat, the commissioner said.
When the van arrived at the Western District station, police called for an ambulance, said Davis, who is in charge of the investigation.
On Thursday, a police union attorney revealed Gray was not buckled in while being transported, as is department policy. Since 2004, BPD has twice been found responsible for paralyzing suspects with so-called “rough rides,” where officers drive erratically while carrying unbuckled but handcuffed suspects to cause them injury, The Baltimore Sun reports.
According to Batts, police are currently investigating whether Gray’s injuries were the result of a “rough ride.”
“We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been,” Batts said.
[Image via AP Images]