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Freddie Gray was “intentionally trying to injure himself” while in a Baltimore police transport van, another prisoner in the van with Gray said, according to a report.
The Washington Post reports the second prisoner, who was separated from Gray by a partition, told investigators he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the van.
Gray, 25, suffered a severed spine in police custody and died, provoking protests and looting in recent days in Baltimore.
The Justice Department has launched an investigation into the incident.
Jason Downs, an attorney for Gray’s family, said, “We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” according to the Post.
Baltimore police intend to wrap up their own investigation by Friday. Six officers have been suspended.