The Slatest

Police Report Says Baltimore Man Who Died Was Arrested “Without Force or Incident”

From a video of Baltimore police arresting Freddie Gray.

Screen shot/Baltimore Sun

A police report about the arrest of Freddie Gray—a Baltimore man who suffered a spinal injury shortly after being arrested on April 12 and died a week later—says Gray was detained “without force or incident,” the Baltimore Sun reports. Gray was chased and arrested because he “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence,” court documents say, and was found with a switchblade clipped to the inside of his pants. (It’s illegal to carry a concealed switchblade in Maryland.) He was injured “during transport” and later taken to a hospital with one or more broken vertebrae. He died Sunday.


Some officers involved in the case have reportedly been suspended, and police commissioner Anthony Batts and mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have promised investigations. From the Sun:

Police are assembling a task force to review the incident, expected to include personnel across a range of departments, including training and lab prep personnel, as well as teams from homicide investigators and force investigation, Batts said.

An independent board also will review the administrative case against the officers, after State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby decides whether or not to file criminal charges and that case concludes.

The Baltimore police department and the federal Department of Justice are already engaged in a “collaborative review” of city officers’ use-of-force practices, a process that began after the Sun reported that the city has paid nearly $6 million in judgments and settlements since 2011 in 102 civil suits alleging police misconduct.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of Freddie Gray’s death.