Baltimore Police Conclude Investigation Into Freddie Gray's Death

Apr 30, 2015
Originally published on April 30, 2015 8:19 pm
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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Baltimore police have a turned over their investigation into Freddie Gray's death to the local prosecutor. They did this a day earlier than expected amid loud calls demanding more information. While details of the investigation are still secret, police did release one new finding today. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Many people in Baltimore assumed that tomorrow they would be learning a lot more about what happened to Freddie Gray - how his spine was severely injured in the back of a police van after his arrest on April 12. But today instead, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced the criminal investigation is finished.

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ANTHONY BATTS: We dedicated 30-plus detectives. Their full-time job was focused on this case and only this case.

BRADY: Batts acknowledged what has been a theme at protest rallies - the public wants to know what happened.

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BATTS: Also note that getting to the right answer is more important than the speed. Making sure that we look and overturn every rock is more important than just coming forth and giving a document.

BRADY: The next step is up to State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. She'll decide whether officers involved in the Gray case will face charges. In a statement, Mosby said her office is not relying solely on police department findings and is conducting its own investigation, too. See asked the public to be patient. Police did offer one new detail about their investigation today. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis says investigators learned that van transporting Gray made another stop.

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JUSTIN DAVIS: We discovered this new stop based on our thorough and comprehensive and ongoing review of all CCTV cameras and privately owned cameras, and in fact, this new stop was discovered from a privately owned camera.

BRADY: For protesters and other police critics, big questions remain. Chief among them - exactly what did happen to Freddie Gray inside the police van?

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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray.

BRADY: Last night, a large crowd of what appeared to be mostly college students marched through downtown Baltimore with a message for city leaders.

SHANNON MCKAY: You need to tell your people what's going on. We deserve answers. Everybody deserves answers.

BRADY: Shannon McKay (ph) is a student at Towson University. Ahead of her in the march was Lawrence Brown, a professor at Morgan State University who says a lot of people are watching closely for what happens next.

LAWRENCE BROWN: But I think what they can expect is that if they don't indict, then it will be bad and the people will keep on marching until we see something done for this particular case.

BRADY: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been the focus of much criticism surrounding the investigation. Speaking at New Shiloh Baptist Church in the Sandtown neighborhood this afternoon, Rawlings-Blake criticized the media, specifically The Baltimore Sun newspaper. She said the public isn't aware of the positive changes the city has made reforming its police department. For example, she says, some important numbers are down.

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MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Police shootings, discourtesy, excessive force, lawsuits against the city - we're finding more officers that are found - found accused of wrongdoing guilty. They don't want to tell you that part because they don't want us to be in the victory. We will get justice for Freddie Gray. Believe you me, we will get justice.

BRADY: Rawlings-Blake spent much of the last few days dispelling one rumor that more details about Gray's death would be released tomorrow. But not everyone is receiving that message. Just this morning, another local group announced it was organizing a march to City Hall tomorrow to demand more information about how Gray died. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Baltimore. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.