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Baltimore police internal memo says Batts met with officers in Freddie Gray probe

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts met Monday with the officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, the man whose death following an arrest has sparked heated protest.

Batts said in an internal agency-wide email sent out late Monday that he "assured them and now I want to assure you; we will follow the facts wherever they take us. The facts, not emotion, will determine the outcome in this case."

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"We will remain transparent with you and the community. This continues to be a difficult time for everyone involved," the e-mail says.

It is not clear when on Monday Batts met with the officers, who are suspended and on administrative duties. He did not mention the meeting during a news conference earlier in the day.

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The e-mail concludes by asking officers "not to lose focus" on fighting crime.

"Please continue to serve the citizens of our city and continue to look after one another," the e-mail says. "Have pride in yourself, each other, and the organization as you work to keep the city of Baltimore safe."

Gray was arrested April 12 in West Baltimore, after police said he ran from officers and was found in possession of a switchblade, according to an arrest report. The 25-year-old died a week later of injuries that included damage to his spinal cord and a crushed voice box.

Officials said they are focusing on what happened during the 30-minute ride in the police van as the likely explanation for his injuries.

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Police said they used no undue force when arresting Gray and can find no evidence from cellphone and city surveillance videos that officers brutalized Gray. They said an autopsy shows no indication that force was used.

But residents, who said they witnessed Gray's arrest and stops during his transport, reported hearing his screams and seeing officers beat him. The case has generated days of protests, which were expected to continue.

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