Five officers in Freddie Gray case gave accounts of incident

Five of the six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray have provided statements to Baltimore police, leaving Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake frustrated that one has not.

"We know there are questions that people still have," said Kevin Harris, a spokesman for the mayor. "We know the best people to answer those questions are the people who are there. We want everyone involved with Mr. Gray to cooperate."


Rawlings-Blake aired her feelings about what she saw as a delay in the investigation Tuesday during an interview that was televised nationally. That annoyed the Baltimore police union, which criticized the mayor for what members said was misleading rhetoric about rules governing officer discipline.

Rawlings-Blake has said in interviews that investigators have not "fully engaged" all the police officers involved in the arrest of Gray, who died Sunday while in police custody. She blamed the state Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights for the delay.


"I don't understand how she can continually say they're not cooperating," Michael E. Davey, an attorney for the police union, told The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday. "They are. They did. And they're lucky they got those statements before I got involved."

The six officers have been suspended with pay, pending the results of the police investigation into the incident.

Harris would not say which officer has not provided a statement, or why the officer has chosen not to.

Davey pointed out that it's the U.S. Constitution, not the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, that protects the officers' right not to speak with criminal investigators.

"This is a criminal investigation, and it has nothing to do with the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights," Davey said. "Police officers, like any other individual or citizen who is being investigated for a criminal act, have a constitutional right not to speak to the police.

"At no point when you're hired by a police department do you sign a waiver saying you've given up your constitutional rights," he said.

Rawlings-Blake told CNN on Tuesday night that she did not have all the answers, and she was frustrated that all officers have not provided investigators with statements.

"I am determined to make sure that we have as full investigation and we follow all of the rules and procedures so if there is a finding of wrongdoing that we have done everything possible to protect policy and procedures so we can hold those individual accountable," the mayor said.


Officers are required to speak with their supervisors about incidents immediately if asked, but what they say is inadmissible in a criminal investigation. The Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights affords officers 10 days to get an attorney, should they seek one, before they speak further.

"If they give a voluntary statement, anything they say, like anybody else, can be used against them in a criminal case," Davey said. "If they elect not to give a statement, which is absolutely their constitutional right, and the department orders them to, nothing they say in that ordered statement can be used against them in a criminal case."

"For [Rawlings-Blake] to even raise the LEOBR, that's not the issue" because the officers in the Gray incident are under criminal investigation, he said.

Harris said Wednesday that the mayor was not talking about the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights as it related to the investigation of Gray's death, but that she believes more broadly that it's an impediment to getting information out.

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"We know there are cases like this that it can be an impediment," Harris said.

Rawlings-Blake has lobbied to change several provisions in the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights during the General Assembly session but those bills failed.


"This is one of those examples where the community feels cops have a different playing field than everyone else," Harris said. "This is an example of how things can be delayed in these kind of investigations and this is what causes people to lose trust."

Harris said it was "unfortunate" one officer chose not to be interviewed while residents anxiously wait for answers. But he said "it's within his rights not to do that."

Baltimore Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger contributed to this article.