SORT OF EYEWITNESS SAYS FREDDIE GRAY SELF-SEVERED HIS SPINE
On the front page of this morning’s Washington Post we were treated to the following headline:
‘Prisoner In Van Thought Gray Was “Trying To Injure Himself.”
Look, I know that I can be cynical but even the headline is bloody suspect. Since when do prisoners make reliable witnesses? Here’s how the article begins:
“BALTIMORE: A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls of the vehicle and believed that he was intentionally trying to injure himself “ according to a police document obtained by the Washington Post.”
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So far so good I guess, if a bit self-serving for the current police narrative. Seems like we have an eyewitness at the right place at the right time. But wait. The article goes on to state that there was a metal partition between them and that the “eyewitness” couldn’t see Gray. The name of the prisoner has not been released “because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.” The person who provided this document to the Post in which the “eyewitness” maintains that Freddy was trying to sever his spinal cord on purpose, remains anonymous. The document from which this startling “eyewitness account” is taken is from an application for a search warrant which was sealed by the court. I think it’s probably safe to assume that the person who leaked this document to the Post is either a police department or court employee.
The article continues over the top half of Page A-18 with the following headline
“Document Provides A First Glimpse Of What Gray Might Have Experienced Inside Police Van.”
Perhaps so. At least a “glimpse” of what the “eyewitness” thought Gray was doing. On the other hand, I go to a more simple explanation than the “Freddie Was Trying To Sever His Own Spinal Cord” one. I was not an eyewitness in the van so I can only speculate on the noises the real “eyewitness” in the van heard. To me, though, is it outside the realm of human possibility that Freddie was banging on the walls of the van in an attempt to draw attention to the pain he was experiencing? Or maybe he was just pissed off at being arrested and was expressing his anger? Are these totally unreasonable assumptions that could only be explanations in a parallel universe? Yet the Post publishes this bogus piece of crap by an “eyewitness” who saw nothing? Every single media outlet in the country is now headlining the Post’s bogus article. It smacks of the police trying to cover their asses to me. It stinks.
I’ve written dozens of letters to the Post over the past few years chiding them for publishing stories about Obama’s secret Muslimness, about his so-called “criminality,” about the ACA Death Panels, about writing articles where “both sides” of a given issue are explicated even when one “side” is pure bullshit. But this piece is one of the lowest pieces of so called journalism I’ve read in the Post for a while. Sure, one expects this kind of “reporting” from Fox News or on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. But in the Washington Post? The newspaper who brought down a President for illegal activities?
If I were a cynical person, I would conclude the following:
The Baltimore authorities – Police, Mayor – earlier this week promised that today, Friday, they would release a report describing the events that led to Gray’s arrest and death. Yesterday that promise was retracted and no report was or will be released. Late yesterday afternoon, Baltimoreans demonstrating peaceably by the thousands were unaware that this was the case and everyone who was interviewed by the media expressed disappointment at the news. They felt betrayed. So this morning the Post publishes the piece about the “eyewitness” who believed that Freddy was attempting to injure himself. What an odd confluence of events, don’t you think?
From the very beginning the authorities in Baltimore have basically followed the Ferguson model of supplying no relevant information about what actually happened and who was involved. Not, in my view, the best approach to tempering people’s anger and outrage over another Black man dead at the hands of cops.
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On the other hand, if you were trying to incite riots, lootings and burnings, I think this is probably a very good model of how to go about it thanks to the Washington Post’s ridiculously stupid article, the authorities efforts to shield the responsible individuals and the selective release of court sealed documents attributing Gray’s death to self-spine-severing actions while in a police van. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.
To me, the entire Freddy Gray episode stinks. It smacks of a cover-up. With the assistance of the Washington Post. And people wonder why the police and the media around the country are not trusted?