On Wednesday the Washington Post reported on a leaked police document detailing the account of an anonymous second passenger in the police van that Freddie Gray was traveling in on April 12, after his arrest and before he was taken to the hospital with what turned out to be fatal injuries.
Here’s the takeaway from the Post’s story:
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.
It was a strange statement, and seemingly self-serving shred of evidence, for the Baltimore police or someone associated with the police force to leak. The most curious part of the account was that the second passenger apparently could not see Gray because of a metal divider.
On Thursday, Donta Allen identified himself as the second passenger in the van. The 22-year-old spoke to WBAL-TV:
Allen said he did not know a man was already in the van. Gray was on the right side and Allen was loaded on the left side with a divider separating them. Allen described what he heard: “When I got in the van, I didn’t hear nothing. It was a smooth ride. We went straight to the police station. All I heard was a little banging for about four seconds. I just heard little banging, just little banging.” Asked whether he told police whether he heard Gray banging his head against the van, Allen said, “I told homicide that. I don’t work for the police. I did not tell the police nothing.”
“Allen said he did not know a man was already in the van,” according to WBAL. “Gray was on the right side and Allen was loaded on the left side with a divider separating them.”