Baltimore Police ‘Press Conference’ Takes No Questions. Deputy Commissioner’s Summary Ignores The Most Important Issue: Why Was Mr. Gray NOT Delivered First To A Hospital?
Michael JF Matheron, April 30, 2015.
Just a few minutes ago the Baltimore police held a so-called news conference regarding Freddie Gray’s April 12th arrest but stated at the outset they would take no press questions. Baltimore Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis revealed that the “paddy wagon” made a previously undisclosed second stop of four stops on its way to the police station. This second stop, caught on a non-police camera, the commissioner asserted, was previously unreported by the officers involved. Why was the stop made? Apparently, we’ll have to await the state’s attorney’s next move, particularly because the commissioner allowed no press questions.
The larger question in all of this, the one ignored by the commissioner and much of the media, remains why did the police fail to directly proceed to a hospital? From the arrest video and eyewitnesses Freddie Gray was in an obviously medically distressed condition when the initial arrest occurred. The video at the scene showed a screaming Freddie Gray being dragged to the police vehicle, his legs trailing behind him, and then being literally stuffed into the wagon.
The primary question – why was Mr. Gray not driven directly to a hospital? – is the most important and potentially revealing one. What interventions might have been provided under medical care quickly delivered? How much does an average group of six Baltimore policemen need to know to make a sensible decision to drive directly to a hospital when transporting an arrestee who is in obvious physical distress? Moreover, why did they not call for EMT support at the arrest site? What kind of training do Baltimore police receive? If a standard protocol exists what does it entail? No answers today.
So, the question dangles above the head of the Baltimore police like the sword of Damocles: What did the officers know on April 12th, and why did they not know more? Or worse, why did they ignore their training and any medical care-related protocols that may actually exist? Police need not be medical professionals, but don’t they need to be sensible humans?