Who killed Little Boy? Who killed Killed Little Boy? Then condemned him to neighborhood where he would age, weary, weary with age and abuse of shaggy buildings, creaking ceilings, disease, rat-infested hallways, no escape. With no escape from such misery. Excerpt from The Education of Sonny Carson
Today, the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray was acquitted on all charges. This means, that to date, four of the six officers charged with Freddie Gray’s murder have been acquitted, with two trials yet to start. With this latest outcome, it appears ever likely that the two upcoming trials will either (1) result in acquittals or (2) not even happen. This begs the question…WHO KILLED FREDDIE GRAY!?
Since the judicial system, nor the local news media seem to know who killed Freddie Gray, I decided I could do some quick investigative work. Just call me the #2 Lady’s Detective Agency (I love you Jill Scott).
What do we know?
- Freddie Gray was alive prior to encountering six Baltimore Police Officers.
- Freddie Gray was in reasonable health, even running prior to encountering six Baltimore Police Officers.
- Baltimore Police Officers put Freddie Gray into a police van and made multiple stops. Officers admitted to not putting a seatbelt on him.
- When Freddie Gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk, and he could not breathe.
- Doctors concluded that Freddie Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury that led to his death seven days following his encounter with police.
- Freddie Gray – It is quite possible that while riding in the van, Freddie Gray decided to break his back himself. Perhaps, he found himself in a situation where there was no way out. He was going to jail, one of the numerous times he had been arrested before. Even though in most instances, his cases were postponed, charges were dropped, or he was sentenced to very short jail-times (The Short, Hard Life of Freddie Gray). If experts believed that one can break their own spinal cord in the manner that Gray’s was broken, then he would, rightfully be the prime suspect. Too bad they don’t (Experts: You Can’t Break Your Own Spine Like Freddie Gray).
- Baltimore’s Lead Paint – Baltimore has a history of lead paint issues. Freddie Gray’s hometown had reported 129 new cases of lead paint poisoning in 2014, attributing to nearly half of all new cases in Maryland. This case amount was three times the national average among children. According to The Short, Hard Life of Freddie Gray, an article published by Justice Policy Institute, Gray’s family filed a lawsuit in 2008 alleging that Freddie and his siblings “…had received ‘irreversible brain damage’ as a result of years of lead-paint poisoning during their childhood…arguing that the negligence of the landlords, who had failed to remodel the houses in which they grew up, had ruined their chances at living productive and healthy lives.” While lead poisoning has a significant impact on the health of an individual, and may have contributed to and was a result of systemic failures on the City’s part, I doubt it was the final straw.
- Donta Allen – Donta was the other other arrestee in the van along with Freddie Gray. He made a lot of statements to the prosecutors. Some conflicting. Some not. One consistent thing Allen mentioned was that officers did not provide Gray with medical attention in a timely fashion. There was a metal divider separating Gray and Allen, so its very improbable that he broke Freddie Gray’s back. In all seriousness, if there was a reasonable explanation for this to have been all Allen, he would have been sentenced a year ago. So that only leaves…
- KITT 2015 a.k.a. The Baltimore Police Van – The suspect had been hiding right in front of our faces. So obvious that it was overlooked. Here we are thinking that this police van is some regular-degular-smegular fossil fuel burning, box on wheels when in all reality it is an undercover-artificially intelligent, crime-fighting van. Like its Knight Rider counterpart (did people really act like a TV show about crime fighting named after the KKK wasn’t offensive?) the KITT 2015 was a crime fighting agent. Why didn’t David Simon ever show this to us on The Wire!? Who cares that the Baltimore Police force has a history of giving individuals in custody a rough ride. Or that a former city police officer testified that it was an “unsanctioned technique” drive police vans to cause injury or pain to detainees (Freddie Gray not the first to come out of Baltimore police van with serious injuries). After all of this, I can reasonable conclude that the van killed Freddie Gray. Its the only possible motive that makes sense: Angry van, tired of transporting poor, young, black men, who are broken by a failing educational, housing, and economic system, finally snaps. Freddie Gray just happened to be it’s highest profile victim.Header Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon