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New Video Gives Fresh Insight Into What Happened During Freddie Gray's Arrest

Footage showing first stop during hour-long journey in police van revealed as chief prosecutor in case fends off claims of conflict of interest.

by Liz Fields
May 20 2015, 4:16pm

Screenshot via YouTube

New cell phone video of the arrest of Freddie Gray, the unarmed black man who was critically injured in April in the custody of Baltimore police and later died, shows officers lifting his limp body into a police van face down and head first at the first of four stops made during the initial hour of his arrest.

The footage, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, is one of at least three videos shot by witnesses of Gray's April 12 arrest. At least 16 surveillance cameras set up around the city also captured the events that led Gray, 25, to sustain a severed spine and crushed voice box. Gray died a week later in a Baltimore hospital from his injuries, which sparked rounds of intense protests.

An unnamed pedestrian shot the newly released video on cell phone camera at the corner of Baker and Mount streets, where police removed Gray from the van and placed him in leg shackles and flexi-cuffs before returning him to the vehicle on his stomach.

Throughout the trip, officers did not secure Gray in a seatbelt, which goes against proper police protocol, and denied him several requests for medical attention, according to investigators.

Related: Six Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death

According to the prosecutor's office, which on May 1 filed criminal charges against the six officers involved in the arrest, the van made four stops that day. This new video shows the first of these stops. During the second stop, Gray reportedly asked police for medical attention, which he did not receive, prosecutors said. It was during the third stop that another prisoner — accused of violating a protective order — was introduced into the van, separated from Gray by a metal partition. The two men reportedly could not see each other.

The fourth stop was revealed on April 30, more than two weeks after Gray's arrest. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, who led the police department's investigation, said the stop was made after they picked up the second prisoner, but did not reveal any more details.

After Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges against the officers, city residents celebrated in the streets, following several days of demonstrations that sporadically broke into violent riots.

Since then, however, the city's top prosecutor has been forced to fend off several accusations from defense lawyers for the officers claiming her involvement in the case is blighted by conflict of interest.

Watch VICE News' raw coverage from the streets of Baltimore:

On Tuesday, Mosby's office filed a response to a request by defense lawyers that the judge in the case replace her with an independent prosecutor. The allegations include that Mosby filed charges against the officers to quell rioting in the west Baltimore district where her husband serves as a city councilor, and that a $4,000 donation made to Mosby's campaign from a lawyer representing Gray's family presented a further conflict.

Mosby's chief deputy Michael Schatzow hit back at these claims saying, "Whether born of desperation, the desire for publicity, or a gross effort to taint the grand jury and potential petit jury pool, the motion is absurd."

"The notion that Mrs. Mosby would bring baseless criminal charges with the entire nation watching just so that Mr. Murphy might have some advantage in the civil case is ludicrous," he added.

Schatzow said the latter claim was particularly farcical, given that the police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, also donated as much as $3,250 to Mosby's campaign.

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields

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