tv CNN Special Report CNN January 30, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
of my career and probably beyond. >> the following is a cnn special report. this is where it happened, where mr. gray was arrested? >> yes. yes, it is. >> exactly one week after he was critically injured while being arrested in west baltimore, gray has died. >> a young man's life, cut short while in police custody. and without any clear explanation why. >> he did suffer a very tragic injury to his spinal cord. >> a tragic injury some will deem an accident. but many others will call murder.
>> they killed a guy. they killed him. [ chanting ] >> these young men are incredibly angry about everything happening. >> how you want to treat people like this and not expect them to rise up? >> we're getting killed down here! we're getting creamed. >> an american city on the brink of disaster. >> it's a war zone. >> a community deeply divided. >> i heard your call for no justice, no peace. >> six baltimore police officers facing criminal charges in the death of freddie gray. >> the search for answers in baltimore. >> our officers are entitled to due process. >> somebody has to pay for this. >> there will be justice for mr. gray. there will be justice for his family and there will be justice for the people of baltimore. >> tonight, a cnn special report in collaboration with the baltimore sun.
"who killed freddie gray?" >> i was in bed, sleeping. and somebody came to get me. i was like, well, what's going on? >> april 12th, 2015. it's not yet 9:00 am in west baltimore neighborhood and already there's trouble. >> once i heard that scream, that's my boy. so i go and i say holy [ bleep ] that's freddie. >> the man screaming in handcuffs is 25-year-old freddie gray, one of kevin moore's friends. >> this is where it happened, where mr. gray was arrested? >> yes. yes, it is. and i'm like, okay. let me get a better angle. i cross behind at the same exact phone, i start recording.
>> we're recording this. we're recording it. >> while moore is recording across the street, another of gray's friends is filming from a different angle. [ bleep ]. >> the 5'9", 140-pound gray looks and sounds seriously injured, but is had he? >> it's unclear to know whether at that point if they thought he was faking or they just simply did not take his concerns very seriously. >> if they would have let him go, he would have fell. period. you know what i'm saying? it's no way to justify it. he couldn't stand up by himself. >> just a few minutes earlier, gray could not only stand by himself, he could run. >> this entire case began because freddie gray ran.
>> it all begins at 8:39 am. gray is standing at the corner of mount and north with two of his closest friends, but they aren't alone. there are at least three police officers on bike patrol close by. >> the officers were deployed in an area called the hot spot because of the high crime area. >> there's drug activity there. there's also a big police presence there. that's in the western district that has historically been one of baltimore's most violent areas. >> an area freddie gray new well. just two years earlier at the same block, police arrested gray for allegedly playing lookout during a drug deal. the charge was later dropped. the arrest had been gray's 16th since turning 18 years old. >> freddie gray was known to police. he had numerous convictions. for minor drug charges.
but gray's record is far from unique in this neighborhood. >> in this neighborhood, a nearly all-black district where one in five residents is without a job and one in five juveniles has been arrested. >> he was a friend of yours? >> friend to everybody here. >> he had a long rap sheet, been arrested many time. >> who hasn't in this area? >> he wasn't described as a main player in the drug area, a kingpin. but he did have a criminal history like many african-american citizens in this city who can't find a job and who lack education. >> he has five pending charges against him that morning standing at this corner with his friends davonte rory and brandon ross. could that explain why when he locks eyes with lieutenant rice, he decides to run? a lieutenant begins pursuing mr. gray after making eye contact with two individuals, one of which is mr. gray. >> ross stays put, rory takes off running in one direction, gray in another.
bike officers garret miller and edward niro pursue gray. >> he ran through. after he had been cuffed, they cut him off right there. that was the last i seen that boy move. >> the officers, you know, went after him. one of them pulled out their taser and told him taser, taser, at which point freddie stopped. >> the chase lasts less than a minute. >> at 8:40 and 12 seconds, a unit states, we've got one. >> rory escapes inside a nearby building while gray willingly submits to police. >> he was running. he stopped and walked towards them. as he was walking towards them, they proceed to just throw him on the ground. >> he's laying on his back. they flipped him over and put both knees on his back. >> miller and niro then search him. they find a small blue pocket knife and place gray under arrest. >> he was screaming to let everybody know he was in pain and that he couldn't breathe.
and they just didn't seem to care. >> that boy was hollering so bad. he was in so much pain. and everybody was hollering, call the ambulance because his leg looked like it was broke. >> but instead of calling for an ambulance, the police called for backup. >> at 8:42:52 a wagon is requested for transport. at that point, mr. gray asks for an inhaler. >> handcuffs are too tight. i got asthma. i got asthma. >> minutes later, officer cesar goodson arrives with the transport van. >> mr. gray, early on, asked for his inhaler, which he did not have with him. he was asked that. that is correct. >> at the time he asked for an inhaler, they did not request medical attention? >> that's correct. >> by 8:46 am, just seven minutes after he started running, freddie gray is in handcuffs, locked inside a steel transport van without a seat belt as it pulls away from this corner.
gray's life is now in the hands of the baltimore city police. >> i'll tell you what i do know. right now, there are still a lot of questions i don't know. i know when mr. gray was placed inside that van, he was able to talk. he was upset. and when mr. gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk and he could not breathe. up next -- >> imagine being in a steel can, shackled and handcuffed and thrown from wall to wall. who in their right mind is going to be able to survive something like that?
this is the order room and this is the supply room. this is where freddie would come. >> reverend keith bailey met freddie gray in 2014, when gray began working in his food pantry as part of his court-ordered community service. >> every day, freddie would tell me, i am trying to get a job. and that really affected me a lot. he wanted to change. >> he was trying. he was trying. >> gray's girlfriend of four years says he was enrolled in a jobs program, taking steps toward a better future. >> he always talked about he wanted a baby and i was like, you have to get yourself
together. he was trying. >> but despite his attempts to get off the streets, on april 12th, freddie gray finds himself back in handcuffs. baltimore sun investigator reporter mark puente. >> the main question people wanted answered was how did the injury happen. it wasn't clear what happened before. you see freddie gray being carted off by officers and what happened inside the van? >> after gray is arrested and loaded inside the police van, it takes off en route to central booking. but a drive that should last a few minutes, instead, takes 40. >> that is because the van makes a handful of stops along the way, the first, here, just a
block from where gray is arrested. >> at about 8:46:12 at mount and baker, a unit asks the wagon to stop. >> a city surveillance camera captures the van as it approaches the corner, with officer cesar goodson at the wheel. police say goodson radios that gray is acting irate in the back. >> at that point officers opened the back of the door, grabbed him, yanked him on to the ground. >> brandon ross, one of the two friends with gray that morning before he is arrested follows the van to baker street and starts recording. >> he all right? >> no, he's not all right. >> concerned for gray's well-being, ross appeals to a familiar face for help. 25-year-old officer william porter is now on the scene. he is from west baltimore and knows gray from his work in the neighborhood. >> that's not cool. that man was [ bleep ].
>> gray already in handcuffs is now shackled around his ankles. >> gray is placed in leg irons and put back in the wagon. >> they picked him up and literally threw him back in the wagon, you know. that's crazy. >> and he was down, his feet was like this. and they picked him up and threw him up in the paddy wagon. >> he looked unconscious to you? >> yes. yes. and i asked them, could they get him a paramedic. they told me to mind my business. i said it is my business. >> according to resident jacqueline jackson, these kind of conflicts with police in this neighborhood happen all too often. >> they're supposed to be protecting us, but they are not protecting us. they hurting us. >> imagine being in a steel can, shackled and handcuffed and thrown from wall to wall.
who in their right mind is going to be able to survive something like that? >> approximately eight minutes after that first stop, officer cesar goodson pulls the van over for a second time at mosier and north freemont. gets back inside, takes off and radios for a prisoner check. >> at 8:59:52, there's a request at drewitt hill and dolphin. the person driving the van asks for an additional unit to check on his prisoner. this is the van's third stop. >> officer william porter arrived at which point they opened the doors and saw that freddie gray was face did you -- down on his stomach. porter said in his statements that he asked freddie gray if he needed a medic. freddie gray responded that he did. >> but, again, the officers do not request medical assistance.
>> porter said that he told goodson, you can't take freddie gray in this condition to central booking because central booking won't take him like this. according to porter, goodson responded, i know. >> suddenly, goodson and porter hear a 1016 call over the radio, a request for backup. with gray still in the back of the van, the two officers immediately respond to the scene. >> the van gets to north and pennsylvania, where it picks up another detainee that officers had arrested. >> the new suspect is placed in the other side of the van. he and gray are separated by a steel wall. they cannot talk to or see each other. >> at which point sergeant aleecia white arrives. >> sergeant white is responding to citizen complaints about gray's arrest. >> she looks in the back and sees freddie gray, facing toward the front of the van. she is unable to see his face.
but, according to statements, had a conversation with him. all freddie could respond with was "yeah." >> officer porter tells sergeant white he thinks gray has jailitis, meaning he's trying to get a ride to the hospital instead of to jail. >> according to porter, sergeant white said to drop off the second detainee and follow the van and get freddie to a hospital. >> at 9:24 am, the van finally arrives here to the western district police station, less than a mile from where gray was arrested. police tend to the other suspect first, then open the door to gray's side of the wagon. only this time, he is no longer breathing. >> a medic was finally called to the scene where, upon arrival, the medic determined that mr. gray was now in cardiac arrest and was critically and severely injured. >> gray is rushed to the hospital and soon falls into a coma, from which he will never wake up.
as freddie gray clings to life, baltimore is ready to explode. and kevin moore has the match. >> don't worry, shorty. we recording this. we recording it. >> so you have the video? >> yes. >> you go to police? >> yeah. >> you then go to the media? >> yeah. >> you light the fuse. >> yes. >> then what happens? >> i watch it blow. [ chanting "all night all day we will fight for freddie gray" ] >> days after gray's arrest, protesters start to fill the streets. and one week after his arrest -- >> today, on this holy day, a mother has lost her son. >> freddie gray is dead, overcome by injury.
>> he did suffer a very tragic injury to his spinal cord, which resulted in his death. what we don't know and what we need to get to is how that injury occurred. >> the police and state's attorney open separate investigations. >> how? >> i can't answer that question. >> answers aren't coming soon enough. [ chanting "all night all day we will fight for freddie gray" ] >> these young men are incrediblery -- very angry about everything happening. as you can see, there is a lot of emotion running through the streets here. [ chanting "hell no we won't go" ] >> after a week of tense, but peaceful protests, thousands march to city hall. >> we are here in a cause to stand for justice for freddie
gray. >> but as protesters approach camden yards, the mood shifts. [ sirens ] >> a group of teenagers taunt police, throw bottles and destroy unoccupied police cars. >> go, go, go, go, go, go, go! >> as tension builds, police are unclear how to react, because the mayor has instructed them to allow the protests. >> it's a very delicate balancing act, because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.
>> gray's twin sister appeals for peace. >> my family want to say, can y'all please, please stop the violence? freddie gray would not want this. >> two days later, fredricka and her family would bury her brother. >> in the name of jesus, we ask that you wrap your hands around the gray family. >> thousands turn out to the funeral to honor freddie gray. >> most of us are not here because we knew freddie gray. but we are here because we know lots of freddie grays. >> but kevin moore says freddie gray stood out. >> he could deal with the frustration and the things that really, i guess, made it hard for people. he could make it funny. he could make things seem a little better, a little lighter.
>> an important skill for a kid who grew up poor, in a house that was poisonous. the lead paint levels high enough to affect his behavior and his ability to learn. gray never made it past the 10th grade. kevin moore says gray did what he had to do to get by. >> freddie can adapt. we're all survivalists. we all do what we have to do to eat. literally eat. >> even if that put gray at odds with the law. >> if you want to survive here, you're going to have to do some things that you might not want to do. from selling drugs to stealing. you know, you're very street savvy, because it's the reality that we live in. >> during the funeral, the streets of baltimore are quiet. but they won't stay that way. hours later, police react to
threats posted on social media and show up in riot gear at a local mall, just as school lets out. >> listen, montgomery mall. helmets on now. >> montgomery mall is a place in the city where thousands of kids transfer buses every day. it's the only way to get home. >> start to rally these kids and let's start making arrests. >> it became a standoff. it didn't take long for it to escalate. >> police are outnumbered and confused about how to react. within hours, the situation is out of control. >> we're getting killed down here. we're getting creamed. >> the equipment was deplorable, dry rotted helmets, wooden night sticks and flimsy plastic shields. no standoff equipment, no chemical agents that could serve to quickly quash a riotous scenario. >> they just set a car on fire on north avenue.
>> destruction ran wild. looting started at stores. pharmacies were broken into. stores started to burn. >> this is absolutely disgusting. stay the hell home. we swore to protect you people. now get the hell out of our way and let us do our job. >> 20 officers are injured, six seriously. state of emergency is declared and the national guard is deployed. the collateral damage, hundreds of cars and businesses are destroyed. an estimated $13 million in damages. coming up next, the baltimore police investigates its own. >> the stakes for this investigation were as high as i've ever seen.
residents begin to clear the wreckage from the rioting that erupted the night before. >> when i see the destruction, it's extremely painful. the thing i'm glad about is that we got so many people volunteering. and cleaning up the city. this is what baltimore is all about. it's a great city. >> all we want to do is show you the video. >> police are under intense pressure to complete an investigation in weeks that would normal take months, with scores of questions to answer. >> was there any evidence of use of force? was there any broken bones on mr. gray? was there any evidence of kicking, punching, strikes of any type upon his body? >> the stakes for this investigation were as high as i had ever seen.
>> baltimore sun crime reporter, justin george, obtains exclusive access to the investigation. >> they had basically a two-week window in order to investigate this. >> we're still going strong as far as this task force is concerned. >> the main question the police task force is trying to answer is what exactly happened to freddie gray. >> to piece the puzzle together, investigators gather surveillance footage, canvas the neighborhood. >> anyone in your household that might have any information, know anything? >> re-create the van route and deconstruct officers' actions, like the leg links used to restrain gray during his arrest. it is soon clear that the investigation creates as many questions as it answers. for answers, why were police chasing gray? >> not clear of probable cause.
wasn't out shooting somebody on a corner, wasn't a drug king pin, breaking into a house. >> and why did they arrest him? the police report says he fled unprovoked and had a knife in his pocket. but charging documents say they didn't know about the knife until they caught him. >> they found a knife, which has been a big center of debate in the city, play a big factor into all these six trials as to whether the knife was an illegal switch blade or not illegal. >> critical attention falls on if gray asked for help, why and how the officers responded. first, during his arrest. >> freddie had asked for an inhaler, at which point they asked if he had one. he didn't have one. >> then, while he is being transported. on the van's third stop officer porter said he opened the van doors to check on gray and hears him say "i need help." porter responds. "do you need a medic or something?
do you need to go to the hospital?" porter doesn't call for help because, he says, he is not sure if gray is faking or if medical help would even come. but charging documents say porter isn't the only one not to respond to gray's requests. and that no medical assistance was provided by any officer. >> wasn't just one officer. it was several officers, who knew that he needed help when they failed to get him immediate help. >> it's hard to know if that would have made any difference. the investigation reveals gray has a catastrophic injury to his spine. >> freddie gray died from a neck injury. basically he had a broken neck. >> gray also has abrasions on his head. and his blood is discovered on the walls of the van. >> it's unclear what caused freddie gray's head to get
injured, whether the van had stopped suddenly and his head had hit one wall while he was lying down, or whether he was sitting up and his head hit one wall in a sort of rebound sort of action. >> the autopsy declares freddie gray's death a homicide. >> freddie gray's death was deemed a homicide because the officers, according to prosecutors, were negligent in not getting him medical assistance, in not restraining him per policy. >> it's another critical question. why wasn't freddie gray wearing a seat belt? >> there was a policy change in baltimore regarding the seat belts that came out days before this i object to occurred. and officials and union officers are saying that not all officers were aware of that change. >> which is exactly what officer porter says in court, that he never saw the e-mail and that using seat belts wasn't common
practice. but that left gray with no way to brace himself. >> mr. gray's feet were handcuffed. he had no way to protect himself or stop himself or brace himself from any sharp turn, movement or anything that could cause him to slide up and down the back of that metal van. >> questions, theories, facts. on april 30th -- >> good morning. >> police investigators turn over their materials to the state's attorney's office, which has been conducting a separate investigation. the day after, an announcement takes everyone by surprise. >> the findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation have led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. >> coming up, a city divided. >> this is a great day. i think we need to realize that. >> we are disappointed in the apparent rush to judgment. our officers are entitled to due process.
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baltimore. >> to the people of baltimore and the demonstrators across america -- [ chanting:"we will fight for freddie gray" ] >> i heard your call for no justice, no peace. >> hours after being handed freddie gray's autopsy and the investigation into police involvement in his death. the 35-year-old prosecutor has made her decision. >> the thorough, independent investigation has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. >> she literally shocked the world by announcing the charges. >> i was sickened and heartbroken by the statement of charges. >> six baltimore police officers facing criminal charges. >> the six, as they will soon become known, face an array of charges. niro and miller, the two bike
officers who chased freddie gray that morning are charged with assault. lieutenant rice faces involuntary manslaughter along with sergeant alicia white and officer porter. >> officer porter was 25 at the time, same age as freddie gray. >> but it's the van driver, officer caesar goodson, who stands accused of the most serious charge of them all. >> officer cesar goodson is being charge with second-degree murder. >> reaction from the community for the charges was joy. people were jubilant. >> this is a great day. i think we need to realize that. >> i'm pumped up. you feel me? baltimore to rise, y'all. >> i'm exuberant. i'm happy. i'm every positive word you can think of.
we're human beings. we are not thugs. we are not who they say we are. >> a community that has long felt ignored by its leaders appears to have finally been heard. >> don't ever leave us. don't ever leave us. we need you, baby. don't go nowhere, because we are behind you 100%. >> but not everyone in baltimore is cheering mosby's decision, starting with the six officers who soon plead not guilty to all charges. >> we are disappointed in the apparent rush to judgment. our officers, like every other american citizen, are entitled to due process. >> police officers, and their anxiety went through the roof. they saw six police officers criminally charged with something they didn't understand. >> they didn't understand it, likely because it rarely ever happens in baltimore. >> before miss mosby, there was a great reluctance to prosecute the police. >> in the past decade,
authorities say 67 people died in encounters with police in baltimore, but only two officers have faced criminal charges. and, according to civil rights attorney dwight pettit, that figure doesn't add up. >> baltimore is the capital of excessive force and police brutality. >> police brutality is so prevalent when you come outside your door, you're almost saying, hey, i could get my ass whooped today, you know? i could go to jail for something i had nothing to do with. >> police brutality and misconduct didn't just come about the last few years in baltimore. it's went on for years. >> a problem so big, it's cost the city millions. >> 102 lawsuits have been settled since 2011, for nearly $6 million, for serious injuries sustained during arrests, which were all deemed questionable. a lot of people were beaten. a lot of people received broken arms, broken legs, broken jaws. >> it's systemic. it's not just a black on white thing.
it's the mental attitude of the police. >> a brutal culture within baltimore's police force, which many here blame on the controversial zero tolerance policies of former baltimore mayor martin o'malley. >> his fight against crime was just to lock everybody up. >> in the 1990s, baltimore's murder rate was over 300 every year, bar none. the corner sweeps and the zero tolerance policing resulted. and while we numerically decreased murders, it really increased police encounters with parts of the poorer communities. >> communities like freddie gray's community, which sends more people to prisons than any area of the state, the vast majority of whom are black. >> can you imagine the kind of damage that does not only to the community but the relationship between the police and the citizenry? >> creates anger.
people are in jail. they have a record. they can't get a job. >> many of them don't see a future. there's a sense of hopelessness that creeps in. and that hopelessness is devastating. >> and, in turn, that hopelessness, too often, leads them right back into a life of crime. >> and we need to make arrests and lock up people who commit crimes, but we otherwise have way too many discretionary encounters with young people that are negative in nature. so, i simply have apologized on behalf of not just the baltimore police department, but on behalf of american law enforcement for those negative experiences. >> experiences, some say, like the one freddie gray encountered on the morning of april 12th. >> what happened with freddie gray that day that he was arrested, i think he was simply trying to have a good day.
and his experiences with the police were probably such that he said, you know what? i'm not going to have a bad day. and so he ran and next thing you know, he was dead. up next -- >> is that your main goal, then, to change that dynamic? it's a tall order. >> it is a tall order, and it's not changing the direction of the jet ski. it's a titanic.
though the baltimore riots have ended and the recovery has just begun, the summer of 2015 is one of the city's deadliest in decades. >> all of a sudden the homicide rate skyrocketed. it's like a drum beat that just keeps going and doesn't stop. >> by the end of 2015, 344 people are murdered. that's 133 more than the year before. the highest homicide rate per capita in the city's history. what do you attribute the uptick in homicides to in the immediate aftermath? >> well, it's not just one thing. if it was one thing, we would
have stomped on it and solved it. >> not only are homicides up, but after freddie gray's death, arrests are down. >> people have spoken about police officers in baltimore taking their foot off the gas pedal, post unrest. i don't think for one second there was any intentional effort for police officers to stop engaging this community. police officers here were traumatized just like the rest of the city was traumatized. >> and they continue to battle a lack of trust from the community. >> it's tough to solve crimes in baltimore. >> baltimore city police out here. >> there was also extra scrutiny from people in the community like freddie gray's friend, kevin moore. >> so we're out here right now. >> he's now part of an organization called cop watch that films officers on the streets. >> cop watch.
>> that's been my fight, that's been the way we combat against the police and that's the way we stand up. >> in the aftermath of freddie gray's death, steps are taken to repair the relationship between the police and citizens of west baltimore. >> amen. >> amen. >> is that your main goal, then, to change that dynamic? it's a tall order. >> it is a tall order. it's not changing the direction of the jet ski. it's a titanic. >> and it forces change at every level. in city hall -- >> i've made the decision not to seek re-election. >> and at the police department. >> i will give it my best going forward. >> deputy commissioner kevin davis is now in charge. >> 10-4, thank you. >> and in gray's neighborhood precinct a new commander requires more police interaction with residents. >> how you doing? >> and no longer relies on a
sort of corner crackdown that swept up freddie gray. another sign of change? the trials of the six officers now under way. >> officers were charged with crimes. that's a rarity in baltimore as in other cities. freddie gray did have an impact. >> the first trial of officer william porter ended with a hung jury. >> we have now learned the judge has declared a mistrial, a mistrial. >> porter will be retried after the trials of the other five. next on trial is van driver, caesar goodson. he is the officer charged with the most serious crime, second-degree depraved heart murder. each trial, each verdict, heightening the tension in a city on edge. >> no peace! >> it still does feel to me that anything could set it off. it could -- we can't afford to underreact or overreact. we have to treat a protest like a protest.
we have to treat a riot like a riot. >> if there is another riot, kevin davis says the baltimore pd is ready. >> our equipment is head to toe now. our training sophisticated. unfortunately, it takes a disastrous scenario to shed light on our deficiencies. >> for the first time, baltimore police will issue body-mounted cameras to its officers. there has been progress, yet in baltimore, important questions remain. who killed freddie gray and how can the city heal? >> after years and years of brutality and hatred, how do you expect us to just come back and say, okay, well let's work it out? >> but work it out is exactly what baltimore's leaders hope to do. >> this scenario is about more than freddie gray. i think parts of the baltimore community see freddie gray's encounter with the police as
something that they've seen all too often. >> what they haven't seen often enough, respect. >> what we need is equality. to be treated on an equal playing field. you're a human being, that's first. we're human beings. you know what i'm saying? respect me as that. >> change doesn't occur, especially in this profession, in this country, without a moment like this. >> what is your hope for the legacy of freddie gray? >> that that's when real community policing began in the city of baltimore. >> real community policing. real respect and real change for a city where freddie gray lived and died.
>> it all comes down to monday. the iowa caucuses, a make or break moment for some u.s. presidential candidates and in the home stretch putting it all on the table. peace talks in syria. syrian opposition groups would be in geneva after talks that threaten boycotts. the 2016 olympics in rio dejaneiro and the zika virus. from cnn in atlanta, i'm george howell and cnn newsroom starts now.