Critical New Video Footage Sheds Light on Death of Freddie Gray

Baltimore Riot Police/ Wire Photo
Baltimore Riot Police/ Wire Photo

A cellphone video shot by a resident provides a closeup look at Freddie Gray at a critical moment that sheds light on his death and the prosecution of police officers by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. A story by the Baltimore Sun this morning reported, “That video, combined with the account of Gross and her neighbor, provide the most detailed public account of the van stop — a key moment in Gray’s fatal encounter with police.”

The video shows Mr. Gray partially out of the van. He is on his stomach, flat on the floor of the van with his legs hanging off the back. The video shows him motionless as four officers stand over him placing shackles around his ankles.

The Sun interviews Michelle Gross, 58, who shot the video and said “she was shocked at the turn of events that led to Gray’s death from a spinal injury.”

“I thought his leg was just broke and that he was just going to the police station and we would hear him that afternoon,” she said

Much of the known video was taken of the arrest of Mr. Gray but much less is known about what happened a block later, as the van stopped and Mr. Gray was shackled.

The Sun reports this was a key moment. They cite charging documents which state : “Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the [Baltimore Police Department] wagon.”

The Sun continues, “Mosby also said officers violated department policy by not securing Gray with a seat belt and not providing medical care when he requested it. Charging documents state that officers placed Gray in the van head first and on his stomach before transporting him around West Baltimore.”

The key defense by the police is that Mr. Gray was acting “irate.” That compelled them to take him out of the van and restrain him.

The media reports are not clear whether the prosecutor’s office had seen this particular video.

The Sun reports, “The video shot by Gross’ neighbor is distorted and shows just a few seconds at the back of the van. As officers restrain Gray, the video shows another officer pull up in a patrol car, get out and walk toward the van. (The neighbor did not allow his name to be published because he feared retaliation by police, but Gross allowed The Sun to copy the video from her phone.)”

The Sun continues, “At this point on the cellphone video, Gross yells to Gray, ‘You all right?’ No response is detectable from the recording and Gross said she didn’t hear Gray respond. Her neighbor yells, ‘Porter, can we get a supervisor up here please?’ He said he was yelling at Officer William Porter, who would be one of the six charged in the case.”

“The neighbor said Porter motioned to Rice, identifying him as the supervisor. On the video, the neighbor says, ‘Can we get someone else out here? This is not cool. This is not cool. Do you hear me?’ The man’s shouts are heard on the phone, but not the officers’ responses.”

According to the Sun, while the police did not ask the neighbor to stop recording, Lt. Rice took out his Taser and threatened to use it if he didn’t leave.

At this point they walked away.

According to the Sun, the surveillance video confirms some of this account showing three officers moving toward the neighbor, standing between him and the van and the neighbor disappears from camera’s view.

Ms. Gross told the Sun that she did not understand why the police van made the stop.

“He was just laying there. If he already had cuffed him, what did they take them off for, what was the reason from point A to B,” said Ms. Gross. “Why was he out? What happened in the back, we don’t know but something happened.”

The Sun notes that “Shortly after Gray’s death, police posted fliers around the area asking residents with video of the incident to come forward. A police news release on April 16 stated that when the van departed from Mount and Baker streets, video evidence indicated that Gray was ‘conscious and speaking.’”

The Sun reports, “It is unclear which video police are referring to; neither the cellphone video taken with Gross’ phone nor the security camera initially released by police reveals Gray speaking or moving.”

Ms. Gross told the paper that police never reached out to her for the cellphone video footage and she has not spoken to them.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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86 thoughts on “Critical New Video Footage Sheds Light on Death of Freddie Gray”

  1. Barack Palin

    The key defense by the police is that Mr. Gray was acting “irate.” That compelled them to take him out of the van and restrain him.

    It sounds to me like this new video confirms that Gray was acting irate in the back of the van as another prisoner is reported to have stated.  So stopping the van to put shackles on Gray just helps to prove that point.


    1. David Greenwald Post author

      The problem with that interpretation is that people irate inside the vehicle would tend to be even more irate outside the vehicle. What the eyewitnesses observed was non-responsiveness which would tend corroborate the view by the prosecutor that there was some medical issue that Mr. Gray suffered from and that police either intentionally or unintentionally failed to respond.

    2. Tia Will


      It is always fascinating to me how presented with the same information, two people can come to such opposite conclusions. If the issue were truly irate behavior inside the van, would not a better and more complete way of restraining  Mr. Gray to have been to handcuff, shackle, and secure him with a seat belt? What could the possible motive be for having done the two former, but not that latter steps to constraining his movement ?

      1. Barack Palin

        In retrospect the officers obviously used some bad judgement.  They should’ve seat belted Gray and called for medical assistance.  But you must remember that the law that all riders must be seat belted in the van and that any prisoner who asks for medical assistance must be given it was only instituted a week before this incident.  So did the officers know this new law?  Were they properly briefed about it?  Either way, this is more of a case of bad judgement then a case of police racism and shouldn’t have resulted in rioting and looting that subsequently occurred.

        1. hpierce

          Ok… the facts, as they have been disclosed to date, indicate the officers did a “stupid”.  Gotta agree with what appears to be a common sense approach that would indicate, handcuffs, shackles, and oh yeah, a seat belt.  Duh!

          Whether that failure to use the neural synapses that we are born with, rises to the level of criminal or civil negligence, or worse, in my view remains to be seen.  Can’t understand how someone could not see the failure to use a seat belt as a “stupid”, though.   Hopefully there will be enough facts in evidence to determine the other matters.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “In retrospect the officers obviously used some bad judgement. ”

          the question is not whether they used some bad judgment, the question is whether they committed a crime – based on this new information, do you believe they did?

      2. zaqzaq

        What is truly stunning is that the Baltimore Police Department did not have a policy requiring the use of seat belts for suspects in custody being transported until April 2015.  Just incomprehensible.

        1. Miwok

          did not have a policy requiring the use of seat belts for suspects in custody being transported until April 2015

          I see this a lot in the various places I work at, they say they cannot be held responsible for liability if there is no policy. If they make a policy it has to be enforced, adding to the management workload and responsibility. Places like this who have been in business, for the public, for a long time,many over 50 years.

          It is not just the PD.

      3. TrueBlueDevil

        I think I’d want to see the video before I concluded anything, as this becomes another version of the Telephone Game… is this now 3rd hand, or 4th hand information being reported?

    3. Davis Progressive

      barack this is the key point:

      The Sun notes that “Shortly after Gray’s death, police posted fliers around the area asking residents with video of the incident to come forward. A police news release on April 16 stated that when the van departed from Mount and Baker streets, video evidence indicated that Gray was ‘conscious and speaking.’”

      basically what you have is that the police argued that gray was conscious and speaking and asked for video to come forward.  a video has now come forward showing the opposite.  where does that leave the police’s defense?

      1. tribeUSA

        DP–I saw the video–he appears to be passive; but how do you come to the conclusion that he was unconscious and not speaking? A person need not move at all to be conscious. To speak, you need only move your lips. Again, DP, I do not understand your enormous leaps of inference based on the available evidence. The video neither supports nor refutes the statement by police that he was conscious and speaking.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          That was what the eyewitnesses reported and it seemed corroborated by the video. On the other hand, the police counterpoint seems undermined by this video. There is no evidence that he was acting billigerant at this point.

  2. Barack Palin

    Paid protestors in Ferguson complaining about not getting paid.

    In December, IBD noted thatmost of the protesters getting arrested weren’t local residents but people bussed in from groups like the New Black Panthers, the U.S. Human Rights Network and the ANSWER Coalition.
    Later, after the riots in Baltimore erupted,Fox News reportedthat as many as 50 social media accounts were tied to both those and the Ferguson protests, suggesting the presence of “professional protesters.”


    1. Frankly

      There you are BP.  The proof that much of this is just paid political theater for the Dems to gin up racial conflict that they then exploit for retaining their otherwise failing grip on political power.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

      1. Barack Palin

        Yes Frankly, pretty amazing stuff.  Just what we’ve been saying, that much of these protests have been orchestrated by the left.  Remember, never let a crisis go to waste.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          I posted an article a few months back noting that numerous George Soros backed groups helped to drive this drama and riots.

          I wonder how many of these organizations met with Eric Holder or Valerie Jarrett (Barack Obama) during this time period?

          1. Don Shor

            You are literally obsessed with this. It is frankly very bizarre. It is odd the lengths that you, Frankly, and BP go to dismiss the genuine anger and frustration among civic and community leaders of the minority communities about the ongoing killings of unarmed black men by police. It is disturbing that you all, all three of you, seek to deflect all of that genuine frustration by blaming outsiders, Soros, the current administration, the media, or anybody else. These people think for themselves. Nobody is “ginning them up.”
            It isn’t some kind of liberal conspiracy and it isn’t a cynical manifestation of partisan politics. Some political figures, the usual ones, may be making hay from it. But that shouldn’t discredit the thousands who protest, the mayors and governors who deal with the fallout, and the community leaders who are actually grappling with the situations.
            If those communities perceive that there is a problem, it is important to acknowledge and deal with the perception by engaging the communities. If the perception is based in reality, it is important to develop policing practices and oversight. I urge you to take off the partisan glasses through which you seem to view all racial and policing issues, and recognize that there is a problem — either of perception or bad practices, or some combination of those.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Don, information is power, that’s why we have Amendments covering free speech and freedom of the press. We are adults, and if people are being manipulated or “ginned up”, that discussion is valid, especially when outside professional agitators are brought in to help stir up communities that are often so fragile.

          Weazelzippers has posted a list of the paid (and unpaid) agitators. #cutthechecks

          I see since my original Soros post that there has now been $33 million tracked back to Soros that was used to support the groups that helped drive this “civil disobedience”. Apparently new names to me that popped up are Lisa Fithian and Jeff Ordower, who have been active with ACORN, SEIU, “Occupy”, and other dramas. This seems less “grass roots” that what it was.

          I would say there is misplaced anger and frustration. A leader who also let protestors / rioters burn up 200 buildings will only further harm this fragile community plagued with numerous long-standing problems.

          There are also lots of “community leaders” who have become millionaires and multi-millionaires working for decades and not solving these alleged problems. As the saying goes, they came to do well, and they did very well indeed.  In previous decades some referred to these types as “Rent a Mob”.


          1. Don Shor

            So you continue to discredit the genuine concerns and anger of those who live in those communities, preferring instead to believe that they are just being manipulated and that their beliefs have no validity. Or, as you put it, are “misplaced.”

        3. Barack Palin

          Don Shor, how about all of the outside agitators that were arrested?  How about the paid protesters that were brought in from outside political groups?  Much of these protests were obviously generated by the left so, as you say, ” I urge you to take off the partisan glasses ” and realize that there was much more to this than just local protesters being up in arms.

        4. Frankly

           It is odd the lengths that you, Frankly, and BP go to dismiss the genuine anger and frustration among civic and community leaders of the minority communities about the ongoing killings of unarmed black men by police

          I too am angry and frustrated about ANY AND ALL killing related to crime and law enforcement… not just a few cases that can be used for political fodder.  If there were anything close to balanced reporting on the OTHER killings then we would be having a more equal and less divisive debate about the problems and solutions.

          This is not much different than what we saw with the Charlie Hebdo events and the Texas terrorist attack over the Muhammad cartoon contest.   A particular ideology using the media to inflame followers to protest and revolt and to gain more followers.  Same, same, same.

        5. Davis Progressive

          for some reason the right is only concerned about the abuse of state power when we are talking about a federal law enforcement agency under a democratic president.

        6. Miwok

          Mr Shor, I am appalled you defend people who do anything other than protest, meaning the people who loot and burn.

          If the Police and Fire and any other agency has fostered a culture of corruption (they have where I live) with nepotism and favoritism, and do not get addressed at some level of oversight, then I say kick them all to the curb and rebuild. You want to “Renew Davis”? Start with that. Start with the relatives of the elected officials in every department in town, and trade them for another towns’ relatives. See how that works? 🙂

        7. Frankly

          for some reason the right is only concerned about the abuse of state power when we are talking about a federal law enforcement agency under a democratic president.

          Wrongo.   Conservatives are small-government people except for national defense of which law enforcement plays a big part.  We accept some imperfections in national defense and law enforcement because we recognize both the difficult job and the necessity of the job.

          However, the IRS is not a difficult nor necessary job except for its own weight of bureaucracy that is aided and abetted by political maleficence… none of which is supported by our national Constitution.

          The damage done to Americans by all these unneeded government agencies relative to their costs and benefits far exceeds that in comparison to our military and our law enforcement; yet liberals and Democrats rail against the latter while demanding more of the former.

        8. Tia Will

          Whether or not there is orchestrated “theater” going on after the fact, is completely irrelevant to the issue of whether or not the police acted stupidly, negligently, or criminally and the two should not be confused.

        9. TrueBlueDevil

          Don, I am open to information, and don’t buy the gut reaction of “police bad, white-man bad” indoctrination.

          I see a new “racial” angle has come forward today, something that doesn’t fit the black-white narrative pushed by the liberal media.

          The Other Racial Divide
          Were Asian-American businesses targeted in the Baltimore riots?

          There is apparently an uncovered story of Asian businesses being targeted by rioters. Racism? I know that black gangs members reportedly protected black-owned businesses.

          The past number of years I have also read stories and heard rumors about a rise in black-on-Asian crime, and the allegation that African Americans may be see Asian-Americans as easy targets. A Father in Berkeley / Oakland a few years ago was killed by a youth in a tragic attack.

          Yes Don, the media can slant the news we read. Yesterday the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about a 77-year-old Chinese woman beaten to critical condition in Chinatown. They don’t describe the alleged attacker, but original reports described a black woman. They are now asking for help, but wont give us a description.

      2. hpierce

        Actually, have heard that Dick Cheney and others laundered money through those organizations to make the Dems and/or “left” look bad, failed to come through with their financial commitments, then leaked the info to IBD and Fox.

        Oh, Frankly, you forgot to blame government employee unions, particularly those in Davis.

        [moderator] sarcasm acknowledged, but please stay on topic.

        1. Frankly

          hpierce, actually – since you bring up unions.  I think we have a higher percentage of bad cops because of their union protecting job security and making it next to impossible for management to fire those that demonstrate bad behavior.  Same with bad teachers.

        2. Barack Palin

          Hpierce, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that the left might try to spin this as Cheney’s or the Kock Brother’s being behind it.  Typical scapegoats that they always use.  I think anyone who buys into this is as you put it in an earlier post, “stupid”.

          [moderator] please stay on topic.

        3. hpierce

          And Frankly, that’s one of the reasons I abhor unions… always have.  They tend to stand up for and defend “bad seeds”, which is in effect a ‘self-inflicted wound’ towards the vast majority who are professional, ethical, and conscientious.

          And certain right wing Republican (another “union”) zealots rushed in to defend Harding (Tea-pot dome), Nixon and Agnew.

          As an example, Nixon and Ford were at a “state dinner” during the Watergate investigation.  Nixon belched, turned to /ford and said “pardon me”… Ford said “sure”.

          Same same

          [moderator] please stay on topic.

  3. Frankly

    Six police officers involved.  Three of them black.  And the continued witch hunt going on is what?… that these six officers conspired to knowingly and willingly cause harm to Freddie Gray?  Is this the goal of the continued reporting on this… to satiate that desire of some that dislike law enforcement to definitely label the cops as murderers?  Other than the left political value for a constant ginned up race conflict, this is the only explanation I can come up with for the motivation to keep up the story line going.  And I have to say… it is a disgusting thing lacking clear and compelling evidence.  This is anything but clear and compelling.  It generates as much suspicion that Freddie Gray was responsible for his own injuries as it does that the cops were responsible.

    The final story here has already been written.  The cops failed to comply with the 3-day old policy to restrain suspects in the van.  The cops made a mistake.  Mr.s Gray was obviously impaired by drug use as he tested positive for heroin and marijuana and this contributed to his eventual injuries and death.

    But we all agree that the cops made a mistake.

    If we are going to continue to persecute government workers for making a mistake, then let’s start forming a long line of government workers… because they tend to make lots of mistakes.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Six police officers involved.  Three of them black.  And the continued witch hunt going on is what?…”

      this point is immaterial to whether they committed a crime.

      “But we all agree that the cops made a mistake.”

      i’ll ask you the same thing: did they commit a crime?

      1. Frankly

        Mr. Gray committed a crime… that we know.  There is nothing in this video that changes the story to make a claim that the cops committed a crime.

        I think you are obsessed DP.  You dislike cops for some reason and can’t seem to let go of the opportunity to smear them.  It seems pretty darn personal from my perspective.  You and David too.

        1. Davis Progressive

          gray is dead, so whether he committed a crime is not relevant to the murder charges (though relevant to the secondary charge).  but the police officers are being prosecuted for crime – so my question is do you believe that their conduct amounts to a crime or just a “mistake”?

          i’m obsessed?  i don’t dislike cops at all.  i got and get along well with most police officers.  there are some that are dishonest and need to be disciplined.  why does that view make one anti-cop?

        2. hpierce

          Actually, Frankly, all we know is that Mr Gray ALLEDGEDLY committed a crime, and there is evidence to corroborate that. It obviously will not be adjudicated.  The ALLEDGED crimes imputed to the officers, will hopefully will be adjudicated, and they may well be found factually innocent, found ‘not guilty’, or convicted.  Time will tell.

          You and DP work/think at the 1st or 2nd standard deviations (opposite ends) of the bell curve.  I tend to operate near the median.  That’s probably why both of you question pretty much anything I say, even on the occasions when I strictly speak facts, with no spin/opinion, you both feel a need to react.  Whatever.

        3. Frankly

          I get your valid point here hpeirce, but I am mostly just responding to this article of a video and all seem to be a large bunch of nothing unless you are on a witch hunt and obsessed with being “right” that these cops are all guilty of crimes.

        4. Davis Progressive

          hpierce: it will have to be adjudicated to some degree because part of the charges stem from an illegal arrest.

          frankly: the video directly contradicts a key claim made by the officers and this is a murder case, so i think you doth protest too much here.

    2. Tia Will


      And the continued witch hunt going on is what?”

      But we all agree that the cops made a mistake.”


      You consider it a “witch hunt” when a man ends up dead from injuries clearly sustained while in police custody ?  Would you consider it a witch hunt if half of the officers were black and the detainee was white ?  What about if all of the officers were black and the detainee white ?In that case, would it be an issue for you. You frequently state that you are “color blind” but you are one of the posters that have cited race in this case under the guise of criticizing someone else’s use of it.

      And, no, we do not all agree that the cops “made a mistake.”

      How about we stick with what we know which at this point is precious little. We know that a man who was capable of running at the time he came into police custody exited police custody paralyzed, unconscious, not breathing and was dead within the week. I think that we can all agree that something went terribly wrong during the interval in which he was in police custody and that the police were physically responsible for his safety during that time. Whether there was “a mistake”, or stupidity, laziness, neglect, or malice taking place, let’s not pretend that any of us know. Quite frankly, because I am, we don’t know, we only believe what our biases may lead us to believe.


      1. Frankly

        Quite frankly, because I am, we don’t know, we only believe what our biases may lead us to believe.

        Hey, stop stealing my lines!

        We know at least that the cops made a mistake not fastening the suspect with a seatbelt which was not policy three days prior.  Since the six patrol cops are employees, it is also possible that management did not adequately make them aware of the new policy.  In any case, it is clear that, absent all other new information, that the “cops” made a mistake.

        Was it more than a mistake?  We don’t know.  But we do know that absent all other information is was a mistake.

        There is some information that the preliminary toxicology reports show Mr. Gray was high on heroin and pot, and there are other reports that the cops observed him in a possible drug deal and this is why he ran.

        So, you are correct… we don’t have all the information in and so we don’t know for sure what happened.  But absent any new information, the cops made a mistake.  And if you or others want to crucify government employees for making a mistake, the line will be very, very long indeed.

        And if you want to crucify professionals that make mistakes leading to the death of a person they are caring for, let’s form a long line of people in your profession.

      2. tribeUSA

        Tia–re Gray’s death in custody; specifically severed spine injury.

        as an excercise in speculation, I’m guessing that 2 or 3 of the 3 injuries below occurred:

        (1) Gray had either a structural abnormality in some of his neck vertebrae or alignment, or a pre-existing injury in that area (e.g. damage to ligaments or other connective tissue) that pre-disposed him to further spinal injury.

        (2) The rough take-down arrest did some further damage–perhaps tearing some ligaments or other connective tissue in vertebrae area, or perhaps even initiating the fracture in the spinal column (Tia–what do you think of the restraint manuever where, with the suspect face down on the ground, the cop puts his knee on top of the suspects upper back or head, grinding his face into the pavement–seems to me if the cops knee slips off position a bit into the neck area, and if furthermore the cop becomes unbalanced such that most of his weight is on that knee for a brief period; you could have 250 pounds of cop on top of a neck vertebrae–and most cops aren’t licensed for such chiropractic ‘spinal readjustment’ maneuvers).

        (3) Further injuries to neck in van; either from sliding around in the van and banging his head, or from Gray deliberately banging his head on the van floor or wall (i.e. lack of restraints either by seat-belt and/or by Gray).

        Hopefully the pathologist had the sense to bring in a top-notch spinal specialist to help with the autopsy and do an especially meticulous examination of the whole upper spinal area, checking for subtle structural abnormalities and nonobvious damage to bone and connective tissue; as well as scar tissue on ligaments/connective tissue and re-calcification from possible prior spinal injuries.

        1. tribeUSA

          DG–I read the article, which proports to debunk that he had a spinal injury from a recent accident.

          My point #1 does not specify a recent accident; but an accident that may have occurred at any time in his life, or a genetic/developmental structural abnormality (these are common) that resulted in a less sturdy spinal structure. None of this is ‘debunked’ by the WP article–at this point, they are still unknowns to the public–the lawyers will gain access to his (confidential) medical history, and the coroners report is being kept under wraps–the public may not know the details until the trial.

  4. TrueBlueDevil

    Am I clear that we’re dating the supposed contents of a video that we have yet to see?

    Has it been established as fact that he was high on heroine and marijuana?


    1. Davis Progressive

      you can watch the video whenever you want.  the link above has the video.

      there is no evidence to date that he was high on “heroine” or marijuana

  5. hpierce

    Don… after seeing your admonition to me, which was, quite frankly (pun intended) right on, you may want to look at some of your most recent, non-moderator posts, then do a ‘mirror check’

    I liked your posts, but suggest you weigh them… meant as friendly feedback…

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    This is one of many articles that now, and in the future, will deal with any multiplicity of problems which occur in urban America. The Left will often tell you these things are caused by “racism”, or fancy ways of saying the same (i.e., “Micro aggression”), but there are other root causes they never discuss.

    Here we go, how Government created this lovely state… and the New Deal.

    National Public Radio
    Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    Baltimore Update:

    Killings up 30% (to about 100 deaths); shootings up 70%; Mayor says police have gotten control of spikes before, she hopes they can do it again.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        i. Maybe the politicians and professional rabble rousers should get a real job, and quite fanning the literal flames and tinderbox they helped create.

        [moderator] content removed, off topic.

      2. zaqzaq


        Maybe the politicians should not have played politics with public safety like they did in Baltimore.  The politicians are now reaping their rewards with a spike in violent crime after undermining the effectiveness of the police force.

        CNN reported today that the police now have to send multiple cars to any call because the officers get mobbed by 30 people all trying to film them and prevent them from doing their jobs.  So if you have to send six officers to each call where you used to use two you will not be able to respond to as many calls.  If anytime you go into that section of town you have to go in force with a large number of police you lose your effectiveness.  From the date of Grey’s death to today the the murder rate has increase from 15 last year to 33 this year.  Based on those numbers the number could go up since they have not made it through tonight.  That does not include the 135 people that were shot and survived during this same time period.  CNN also reported that the mayor and police commissioner have both lost the trust of the police officers do to their political decisions further undermining the effectiveness of that force.  Based on the new charging policy by the DA many officers may only make arrests when the are 200% sure they are right because you can be charged with a crime by the DA if you are wrong in Baltimore.  This all leads to a less aggressive police force which is what police reformers seem to want.  The unavoidable truth is that the stop and frisk policies, although of questionable legality, were effective in reducing violent crime.  Baltimore with a population of 600,000 has already had more murders than New York with a population over 8 million.

        1. Don Shor

          If anytime you go into that section of town you have to go in force with a large number of police you lose your effectiveness.

          Maybe they should try to hire some police officers from “that section of town.”

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It is certainly not the approach I would desire. My preferred approach is a police department that actively pursues crimes. A structure that has oversight including body cameras and an independent review process. A community policing approach like what they have in Camden, NJ and San Diego, CA. And a restorative justice approach to victim-offender reconciliation like they have in Fresno County.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          It doesn’t sound like the politicians are the problem. I think you need to create a system of oversight that will allow the public to trust the police to be monitored, allow the police to do their jobs, allow the police to catch the “bad guys” but give assurances to the public that the police will be held accountable when they cross the line. The situation in Baltimore did not happen in a vacuum and it wasn’t only the national scene that triggered it – it’s also the fact that for years, the Baltimore police were notorious for their conduct and there was never any consequences.

          “The unavoidable truth is that the stop and frisk policies, although of questionable legality, were effective in reducing violent crime. ”

          To which I respond in two ways. First, there are other less intrusive approaches that seem to work including some community policing models. Second, even if you argue that they were effective in reducing violent crime, they also undermined community trust and ultimately that was going to decrease cooperation and probably lead to more problems down the road.

          We are talking about a month after a serious incident. At some point, things will calm and normalize. And we will be able to assess what the new normal looks like. I think overreacting now is probably the wrong approach.

        3. Barack Palin

          There’s a term for this, it’s called de-policing.  That’s when cops go out and just go through the motions and don’t give a shit anymore out of fear that they’ll be branded or racist or worse for doing their job.

  8. zaqzaq

    A prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.  Why is that true?

    It looks like the prosecutor is moving away from her position that the knife was legal based on the indictment that does not include the false imprisonment charge.  Either that or the grand jury did not buy her argument.  We do not know which way it is until a transcript is released.  It will be interesting to see what charges she asked them for as there are new charges and earlier ones that are no longer included.  It will also be interesting to see what evidence was presented by the prosecutor.   The big question that I have is does the prosecutor in Maryland have to present evidence of innocence like they do in California?  I learned more than I ever wanted to doing google searches on grand jury procedures during the Ferguson case involving officer Wilson.

    I could not find the answer surfing he web is whether Maryland law requires the prosecutor to present evidence or make the grand jury aware of evidence that tends to prove that the defendants did not commit the crime?  During the Ferguson case I heard a number of commentators(defense attorneys) state that they wished their clients got the “Darren Wilson treatment”.  While others indicated that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.  In Fergeson Wilson was allowed to testify and the prosecutor presented all of the evidence which at times was conflicting.  The norm in that state appears to allow the prosecutor to present only minimal evidence that supports the charges and then get the indictment.  There is a US supreme court case that says this process is legal.  I did a google search on “grand jury ham sandwich” among others.

    Interestingly in California I learned that the prosecutor has to take a more balanced approach and present the grand jury with any evidence that they know about that would tend to show that the suspect did not commit the crime and that the indictment can be dismissed if they do not do this.  So to a certain extent the Darren Wilson treatment is required in California.  I am sure that there are some distinctions and that some lawyer will rip me apart on these comments.  The thing about grand jurys is that there is not defense lawyer or judge present so the prosecutor runs the show pretty much determining what evidence or law that the grand jury receives.  Which leads me to wonder did Mosby let the grand jury know that the Baltimore Police Department determined that this knife was illegal?  Did she let them know that the seat belt policy only went into effect days before the Grey incident?

    What I have learned by watching the news shows and online is that a Maryland grand jury consists of 23 citizens and an indictment only requires a majority or 12 members to indict while 11 members could vote to not indict.  It also appears that the prosecutor only has to prove that it is 51% likely that the defendant committed the crime.

    What is also interesting is that Mosby criticized the prosecutor in Ferguson for taking the case to the grand jury instead of doing a hearing in front of a judge that is open to the public and one in which defense attorneys participate.   These hearings in front of the judge allow the public to see what happened unlike a grand jury.  This hearing in front of the judge was scheduled for May 27th.   So it will be interesting to see what happens in this case.  It also seems that the commentators on TV think that the grand jury indictment strengthens Mosby’s case and that the defense motions to remove her are now no longer relevant.  I do not get their reasoning.  Maybe that will become clearer.  It also appears that based on the indictment the talking heads think the legality of the knife is no longer a big deal.  Not sure why but someone smarter than I will point it out.

    I also found during my online research that it is much harder to convict a ham sandwich in a jury trial than to get the indictment.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Interestingly in California I learned that the prosecutor has to take a more balanced approach and present the grand jury with any evidence that they know about that would tend to show that the suspect did not commit the crime and that the indictment can be dismissed if they do not do this. So to a certain extent the Darren Wilson treatment is required in California”

      That’s not my understanding. The other thing is that I’ve almost never seen a grand jury used in Yolo County – maybe once or twice in six years. Even Marsh was a preliminary hearing.

      1. zaqzaq


        I suggest you do some research on the this issue and you will learn that your “understanding” is just plain wrong.  If you want to claim to be a journalist you should do some fact checking while writing your articles instead of mixing opinion with fact.  I did a google search (“california grand jury evidence of innocence”) and came up with the below from a website.  The California exculpatory evidence rule appears to be the exception and not applicable in federal or most state courts based on a US Supreme Court case.  In summary in California the prosecutor must present all exculpatory evidence to the grand jury so that they have all of the relevant information in order to make an informed decision.  I suspect this was the “Darren Wilson Treatment” referred to by defense attorneys in Missouri.   The bigger issue in this case is what is the law in Maryland?  If all Mosby does is give a one sided presentation to the grand jury then the indictments mean little other than a procedural hoop to move the case forward and avoid presenting the evidence at a hearing in front of a judge where the defense attorneys would be able to ask questions and maybe even call their own witnesses.  The issue of the knife would most likely be resolved by a judge who would have to decide if the knife was legal or illegal. Mosby would look really stupid if the judge told her that the knife was illegal in a very public forum which would be all over the local and national news.  From Mosby’s presentation and the charges in the indictment it appears that she is conceding that the knife was illegal.  This may create further ammunition for the defense attorneys to get her removed from the case when she very publicly claimed the knife was legal and the officers made an illegal arrest on Grey.  Remember Mosby was critical of the use of the grand jury in Ferguson and wanted the DA to charge the case and do the hearing in front of the judge.  In looking at your post I guess that would be a preliminary hearing.  That preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 27th from my understanding of the case in the news reports.  That is six days from now so not sure what the rush was other than to avoid having a judge decide these issues.

        Exculpatory evidence is evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt.[1] It is the opposite of inculpatory evidence, which tends to prove guilt.(Wiki)

        The below is from the CDAA document.

        Although prosecutors then had the discretion to proceed by either grand jury indictment or complaint and preliminary examination,6 the general practice evolved not to charge by grand jury indictment, but to proceed by complaint and preliminary examination. Part of the reason for this was that prior to 1991, there was no separate criminal grand jury, but rather, just the regular grand jury. The regular grand jury, having responsibility also for oversight functions and issuing public reports, presented logistical and other timing problems in respect to criminal indictment and investigative uses. The choice of not proceeding by way of grand jury indictment became more pronounced in 1975, when grand jury indictment use became viewed as more legally difficult in the aftermath of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. Superior Court. 7 The Johnson court, basing its decision on Penal Code section 939.7, imposed a requirement of informing the grand jury about exculpatory evidence, a requirement that was later codified in Penal Code section 939.71. Soon thereafter, a seeming death blow to state grand jury use was delivered by the California Supreme Court in Hawkins v. Superior Court, 8 which provided for post-indictment preliminary examinations. This had the practical effect of almost extinguishing grand jury indictment use because of the inefficiency and waste involved in using the grand jury to indict when a preliminary examination had to be done regardless. It was much easier and more efficient, then, just to proceed by way of complaint and preliminary examination in the first place. Hawkins remained the law until after 1991,  leading to a generation of non-grand-jury use—and to a culture of non-grand-jury use that has continued.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          That sounds good in theory, but if there is no defense attorney present in a Grand Jury, how do you enforce exculpatory evidence rules?

        2. zaqzaq


          All rules should have some enforcement mechanism.  Since the proceedings are transcribed the defense attorney should be able to review the transcript and then file a motion challenging the indictment based on the failure to present exculpatory evidence.  In the Johnson case the issued a writ of prohibition stopping the Prosecutor.  All you had to do was a google search “johnson california supreme court grand jury” and then read the case and find the answer.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      What’s interesting is that while they removed the illegal arrest – which I agree was not only problematic but a problem – but expanded the charges on the fifth and sixth officers.

      1. zaqzaq

        I was wrong.  They did not remove the issue of an illegal arrest since it was included in three misconduct in office illegal arrest charges.  I believe they are against Rice, Nero and Miller. So the issue of an illegal arrest and the legality of the knife is still in play.

  9. Frankly

    Black criminal kills Omaha police woman days before she is scheduled to go on maternity leave.  Where is Al Sharpton?  Is Obama going to call a press conference?  Is the Vanguard going to publish several articles about it?

      1. Frankly

        I would like to think that niether the killer’s nor the cop’s ethnicity is relevant.  But I thought I would lighten up a bit just pointing out she was a pregnant female.

        1. Barack Palin

          She wasn’t pregnant, she delivered a child 3 months ago that had to stay in the hospital and was going to be released soon.  What a shame.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Turns out this was black-on-white violence. She was working as a detective, and was shot just above her bullet proof vest.

        “Members of the fugitive task force were pursuing Marcus Wheeler, 26, described as a convicted felon and known gang member, when Orozco was shot. “

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I find it interesting once again that you continue to ignore the abuse of power aspect of police killings of unarmed civilians.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I find it interesting that I can’t recall you ever rebuking the violence, crime, and mayhem unleashed on our citizens by gangs; or the failed Big Government policies which directly aided the creation of these urban ghettos.

        You focus on a few troubling yet isolated incidents, while ignoring thousands of gang killings every year.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i think he has explained enough that the vanguard’s mission is really scrutinize and expose official abuse of power.  frankly the thousands of gang killings each year have processes in place to deal with them and there are laws in california which deal with these gangs killing (as well as minor incidents) that are frankly a violation of the us constitution, but courts are not willing to curtail them (probably out of fear that people like you can only see the gang violence and rarely see the relatively innocent people who get caught up in these broad, nebulous and variable terms like gangs).

  10. Tia Will


    Thought I’d post a link because I doubt we’ll hear much about it on the Vanguard.”

    I want to sincerely thank you for posting links about issues that you do not feel get enough coverage on the Vanguard. As a conversation space, I would like to see more points of view discussed on the Vanguard. One way to get issues of importance to you covered would be not to rely on the Vanguard articles, but would be to submit articles of your own. While links are good, an article sharing your concerns would be even better. A well articulated point of view backed by evidence will always be more persuasive than will a complaint that someone else is not adequately portraying your perspective.

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