Report: Freddie Gray broke neck after hitting head inside police van

A preliminary medical examination found that Freddie Gray suffered his fatal spinal injury when his head and neck slammed into the back of a police transport van, according to findings reportedly contained in the police investigation into the 25-year-old Baltimore resident’s death.

ABC7 News reports that multiple law enforcement sources confirmed the findings after police turned over the preliminary report to prosecutors on Thursday. The sources did not elaborate on how Gray came to hit his head, though they allege that he was not seriously injured in the videotaped altercation with officers before he was placed in the police van.

The report adds that Gray’s head injury matched a bolt found inside the van.

The news is the latest in the trickle of leaks coming from the investigation into Gray’s death while in police custody. The death has sparked widespread protests across the country and prompted violent clashes between Baltimore residents and police that injured officers and caused significant destruction.

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday night that another prisoner in the back of the van claimed Gray was intentionally trying to hurt himself. While the man could not see Gray because of divided set up in the van, he reportedly said he heard Gray “banging against the walls.”

Critics, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), have cast doubt on that explanation. Ellison said in an interview Thursday on CNN’s “New Day” that the other van passenger would have been under significant pressure to tell a pro-police story to win favor with officers.

Some have accused the Baltimore Police Department of intentionally leaving Gray unbuckled in the van in order to injure him.

Police and medical officials have not publicly commented on either report. Six police officers have been suspended as city officials continue the investigation into Gray’s death. 


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