Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

Freddie Gray arrest witness accuses police of intimidation

Freddie Gray arrest witness accuses police of intimidation

After Baltimore officials appealed for help in the Freddie Gray investigation, police released a photo of a witness to the arrest and asked him to come forward.

Kevin Moore, 30, said Saturday that he is the man pictured in the photo, but he is angry about the release. The West Baltimore man — who captured part of the arrest on a cellphone video — said he believes police released the photo to intimidate him.

"What is so important that you have to plaster my picture over the Internet? I've already spoken," Moore said, adding that he had talked to internal investigators in the Police Department. "How do you not know that picture is me?"

The photo released by police shows an individual standing by officers who have pinned Gray on the ground at Presbury and Mount streets by the Gilmor Homes housing complex.

"That's me — I know that's all 6-5 and 260 pounds of me," Moore said."For the police to post that picture and say you don't know who I am, that's B.S. You know who I am."

Police did not respond to a request for comment.

Gray, 25, was arrested April 12 and suffered a spinal cord injury while in police custody. He died a week later.

Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Gray's death, including the 45 minutes he spent in a transport van.

Police officials have acknowledged problems with the arrest. They said officers did not keep Gray in a seat belt in the van, as required by department policy, and did not seek timely medical treatment.

Moore recorded video of Gray's arrest on his cellphone and spoke to The Sun earlier this week about what he saw and why he recorded it. Moore said he spoke at length to two detectives in thePolice Department's Office of Internal Oversight and provided his video to them.

Moore said several neighbors are afraid to talk to police because they fear retaliation. Over the past week, some neighbors have alleged that police officers often stop and search residents without probable cause of a crime.

Moore said Gray was a friend and that he spoke out now because he is "fed up."

None of the surveillance video footage released by police thus far shows all of Gray's arrest or his placement in leg restraints during the van ride. Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez has said that no video shows evidence of use of force by police.

Moore didn't arrive until after Gray had surrendered to police and officers had him pinned facedown on the ground. The cellphone video does not show the moments before the arrest, or when the Gray was further restrained a block away.

At a news conference Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, "It's clear that what happened, happened inside the van."

On Friday, Commissioner Anthony Batts said investigators are examining what happened both inside and outside the van to determine how Gray was injured.

Medical experts say Gray could have injured his spine before the van ride and that a ride with bumps could have exacerbated the injuries.

Another possibility is a "rough ride" — an unauthorized police tactic in which the van is driven in a way that can harm unbuckled occupants.

Court records show that Gray was not the first person to come out of a Baltimore police van with serious injuries. Dondi Johnson Sr. won a court judgment against police for injuries that left him a paraplegic after a 2005 van ride. Jeffrey Alston also won a court judgment against police after being paralyzed from the neck down in a 1997 ride.

Police reports and video evidence show Gray was handcuffed and then placed in leg irons in the back of a van that has a bench and steel walls. The van drove toward downtown before returning to North Avenue to pick up another individual, and then headed to the Western District police station. There, officers called for an ambulance because Gray was unconscious.

crentz@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
73°