The arrest of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died on Sunday from a spinal cord injury, has been described by eyewitnesses as brutal.
In the video, Kevin Moore, describes the scene to the Baltimore Sun’s Catherine Rentz. The footage shows Gray screaming in pain as he’s carried into a police van.
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Police are not using force in the video, as the recording started after the officers already had Gray in custody.
“They had him folded up like he was a crab or a piece of origami. The officer had [his] knee in his neck… He was screaming for life, couldn’t breathe.He needed an asthma pump, which he let them know.… They ignored it. His legs were limp when they went to pick him up… They really did a number on him.”
The Baltimore Sun reports:
Moore shot one of the two cell phone videos of the Gray arrest that morning that have since ignited protests and raised questions about whether the police arrested him “without force or incident as cited in an officer’s report.
Moore said he found his friend handcuffed, “screaming for his life,” and planted face down on the ground with one Baltimore bicycle police officer’s knee on his neck and the other bicycle officer bending his legs backward so that Gray’s heels were in his back .
“They had him folded up like he was a crab or a piece of origami. He was all bent up,” Moore said.
“He said ‘I can’t breathe. I need a pump,’ and they ignored him,” Moore said. Gray had asthma and Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez confirmed at a press conference on Monday that Gray asked for an inhaler, but police did not have one at the scene.
Moore said, “The police yelled ‘stop resisting,’ but there was no resistance. He couldn’t move.”
Moore thought he heard a Taser go off, but Rodriguez said that while one officer drew his Taser, it was not used on Gray.
When police went to pick Gray off the ground, Moore said his friend had limp legs. His cell phone video shows police carrying Gray to the van, his legs dragging behind him. Gray appears to briefly stand on one leg just before entering the van.
After police loaded him into the van on Presbury Street and drove off, they stopped one block away at Mount and Baker streets to re-restrain Gray with leg irons. Moore said he heard Gray screaming again at that time and raced down the block to get more footage, but by that time, a crowd of police had surrounded the van.
“I didn’t see any movement,” Moore said. “I saw his body but he wasn’t moving.”
Moore wonders if Gray could have been paralyzed then, and is convinced police injured Gray.
“He didn’t put himself in a coma. He didn’t fracture or crack three of his own vertebrae,” Moore said. “He didn’t sever his own spine.”
Moore and several residents living near the scene of Gray’s arrest were highly skeptical that none of the eight cameras along the streets where Gray was apprehended and re-restrained had footage of the arrest.
“If I were to commit a crime they would have every angle,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense that these cameras work, but when the police do something, they don’t.”
Rodriguez said that only one camera captured any of the events. He showed what they had at the press conference and it revealed neither the full arrest, nor the subsequent restraining.
However, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday the police department is now looking for additional videos of the incident from police cameras.
“We’re reviewing the cameras in the area to find out if there’s any visual evidence that would be helpful to the investigation. As we find it, and as we can release it, we will immediately do that,” she said.
As for his footage, Moore said he gave his cell phone video to everyone who requested it and didn’t ask for any money.
“I’m tired of the police killing us and getting away with it,” Moore said.