An autopsy report on Freddie Gray, the unarmed Baltimore man whose death in April reignited the national conversation on race and police brutality, reveals he sustained a “high-energy injury” in police custody that under different circumstances might have been ruled an accident.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by the Baltimore Sun, details how Gray, who was arrested on April 12 and put into a van on his stomach, might have been tossed around after the van changed its direction. The 25-year-old died a week later. Six police officers were later indicted in the case; all have pleaded not guilty, and a trial is set for later this year.
The state’s medical examiner’s office ruled Gray’s death a homicide due to the officers’ apparent failure to abide by safety protocols “through acts of omission,” the report states. It describes an injury similar to the kind one would endure from a shallow-water diving incident, and notes that Gray would likely have been unable to break his own fall because his ankles and wrists were tied. The injury to his spinal cord, the report finds, also would have inhibited his abilities to breathe or move his limbs.
The autopsy was finished on April 30, but has not yet been released publicly. The medical examiner’s office did not comment on the report.