Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday he would not order any further investigation into Freddie Gray's death in police custody beyond the four already under way in Baltimore.

"We don't want to politicize the issue," Hogan said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. "You don't want to have too many people involved. ... It just slows things down."

Advertisement

Hogan  continued: "We're prepared to assist in anyway possible, but we don't want interfere with the process."

The new Republican governor said he's confident Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby will get to the bottom of how Gray, 25, received fatal spinal cord injuries while in police custody.

Gray was chased and apprehended by Baltimore Police April 12 he made eye contact with officers and ran away.  Bystanders videotaped Gray's arrest and officers loading him into a police van in West Baltimore. By the time Gray arrived at a precinct half an hour later, he had lost the ability to speak and was sent to hospital. His death a week later, on Sunday, sparked three straight days of protest in Baltimore and brought the city to the forefront of the national debate on police treatment of black men.

"I've seen the video, like everyone else," Hogan said. "You don't get a whole picture of what's happening there. We don't know what happened before, we don't know what happened after - once inside the van - but we know it ended in tragedy."

Some city leaders had suggested that Hogan direct the attorney general or state police to conduct an outside probe, but Hogan declined to add another investigation to the city's two inquiries, a U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation and the work of the Baltimore City state's attorney.

"I'm sure we will get to the bottom of this and get the facts as quickly as possible, which is what needs to happen," the governor said.

Hogan has spoken at length with Rawlings-Blake, Mosby, and Maryland State Police Superintendent William M. Pallozzi about the probe, he said.  The only aid requested so far: expediting the state medical examiner's autopsy report on Gray.

Hogan said a preliminary report would be released "as soon as possible," but that a complete report will take three to four weeks. "That's just the way the process works, and they're not going to do anything outside of the proper procedures. But we let them know how important it was."

The governor, who assumed public office for the first time in January, said his "heart goes out" to the Gray family and that was pleased public protests have been peaceful.

"Even though emotions are running high, I'm proud of the fact that our Baltimore City residents and Marylanders have been expressing their concerns and frustrations in a peaceful and orderly way," he said. " I'm hoping that continues."

His tone is markedly different about the issue of police brutality than it was in November when protests in Ferguson, Mo., ignited further national debate about race and policing. At the time, Hogan said he wouldn't second-guess a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict the officer involved in the shooting death of 18-year-old, unarmed Michael Brown, saying "It really doesn't impact Maryland."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement