The recent protests and riots in Baltimore, Maryland have been the subject of national news coverage lately — and for very good reason. But the initial cause of those riots, the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, is still somewhat of a mystery to the general public.
Gray was a 25-year-old man who passed away from injuries sustained while in police custody in April. His case marked yet another high-profile instance of an unarmed black man being killed by officers, and sparked protests and riots across Baltimore that essentially shut down the city and forced the local government to establish nightly curfews.
Here’s a general timeline of what is known at this point:
- At around 8:40 a.m. on April 12, police officers on bicycles attempted to stop Gray and another man. They made the arrest without having to use any force.
- A couple of minutes later, officers requested a van to take Gray to the police station, at which point Gray asked for an inhaler.
- At around 8:46 a.m., police stopped the van to complete paperwork and put leg irons on Gray. Multiple witnesses say they saw Gray beaten at this point, but autopsy results do not corroborate these claims.
- At around 8:59 a.m., the van’s driver requested an additional unit to check on Gray. The van continued to the police station.
- At 9:26 a.m., the fire department received a call about an unconscious male at the police station, and when responders arrive, Gray is seriously injured. Paramedics provide treatment for about 20 minutes before transferring him to Shock Trauma Medical Center, where he remained until his death the next week. While there, he underwent a double surgery for injuries to his spine.
It’s clear the injuries to Gray occurred while he was in police custody. Critics say police brutality is the only explanation for such severe injuries, especially considering the arrest happened without incident. The story continues to evolve.