xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

5 things we still don't know in the Freddie Gray case

As the investigations into the death of Freddie Gray unfold, a series of issues remain in question.

Here's a look at five things that remain unanswered three days after Gray's death:

1. Were police justified in chasing and arresting Gray?

Police officials have said that Gray was stopped because he "fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence" and that officers placed him under arrest after a knife was found clipped to the inside of his front pants pocket.

But Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and others have questioned the police tactics.

Advertisement

"The mayor as recently as a few days ago said one of her frustrations with trying to piece this together is that we can't seem to establish probable cause," her spokesman Kevin Harris said. "All we have from the police documents so far is that he made eye contact or he had a knife. From her years serving as a public defender, having a knife is not necessarily probable cause to chase or arrest someone.  The information we have so far is clearly insufficient as well in establishing why he was pursued in the first place."

David Gray, a University of Maryland law professor who teaches criminal law and criminal procedure, said the Supreme Court has ruled that running away from police, by itself, is not justification for an arrest. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist wrote that refusing to cooperate with police "does not furnish the minimal level of objective justification needed for detention and seizure," the professor pointed out.

2. Was force used by police in the arrest?

Advertisement
Advertisement

The arrest report said Gray was arrested without force or incident. But critics have noted that video of the arrest shows police grappling with Gray.

Rep. Elijah Cummings said Wednesday that the police department's official statement that Gray's arrest did not involve the use of force was "ridiculous."

3. What happened in the police van?  

Police have said that, "During transport to Western District via wagon transport the defendant suffered a medical emergency and was immediately transported to Shock Trauma via medic."

It is unclear whether Gray was properly restrained inside the van, to prevent injury. It is also unclear when during the ride he sustained the injuries. According to a police timeline, Gray was in the van for more than 30 minutes, as the van made a number of stops, including one to pick up another suspect.

4. Why haven't all the officers involved provided statements to investigators?

Advertisement

Baltimore Police said Wednesday that investigators have met with the officers involved, and that five of the six officers provided a statement to investigators.

"We have interviewed every officer involved except for one," said Kevin Harris, spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "That officer at this point in time is declining to do so. It's within his rights not to do that."

Harris added: "The mayor is frustrated by that."

5. How will the investigations unfold?

We know that several investigations, including one by the U.S. Department of Justice, are underway. But the details of those investigations — and when the results become available to the public — is unclear.

police investigation will unfold over the next week, and Batts has promised it will conclude by May 1. But what happens then? Will the results of that investigation become public, or simply be handed over to prosecutors?

And what becomes of the autopsy report?

Finally, the "blue ribbon panel" — what is it, who is on it and will it be as transparent as city officials are promising?

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement