July 20, 2015

Baltimore & the Death of Freddie Gray:

Black Folk What Are Yal Gonna Do? What We Goin'Do?


by Kwasi Seitu 07/16/15

An In Our Face Cover-Up

   The “State” of Maryland and the City of Baltimore must be taken to task for the racist shams they have perpetuated, and continue to perpetuate, against the Black community of Baltimore and Black communities across this racist nation-state regarding the death of Freddie Gray. On April 19th of this year, Freddie Gray was subjected to an unwarranted pursuit, seizure, and assault by Baltimore police officers that resulted in his death. The three White police officers pursued Gray just because he allegedly “locked eyes” with them and then began to run in an opposite direction. Even though they did not see Freddie Gray commit any crime, nor had any reason to suspect that he had committed any crime, the three White officers chased after him, and treated him as a “criminal” from the moment they captured him. This is the essential truth of policing in the Black communities across, where you are considered guilty unless you are able to convince the police that you are absolutely innocent of being Black in the Black community, which is a virtual impossibility under this notion of policing in America.    


The three officers that “locked eyes” on Freddie Gray where on bikes, he was on foot, and they chased him for two blocks before catching him. The officer reported that Freddie Gray simply gave up once they “got him,” and was cuffed with his hands behind his back. Placing Freddie Gray in handcuffs meant that he was “under arrest,” without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, constituting a lawless seizure or “unlawful arrest.” Then in the course of conducting an illegal search of his pockets, the three White officers found a knife, which they declared illegal even though it was not. They then used the finding of the knife as justification for slamming Freddie Gray to the ground and violently pouncing on him under the pretext of “restraining” him while waiting for the police van to transport him to the jail. It was during the violent effort to “restrain” a non-resisting handcuffed Freddie Gray, that he suffered the “high impact” injury that led to his death, for it is a fact that while being abused he pleaded that he was having trouble breathing. The “State” has made a point of insisting that Freddie Gray sustained the injury that resulted in his death, not at the hands of the three White officers, but unexplainably after he was put into the police van.


The Story of the Three Little Racist Pigs



                                      Amazingly, there are not only photographs of the event, but video as well, and from various angles, all showing that Freddy Gray was in severe pain as he was recklessly pulled up from the ground by the three White officers. There is also eyewitness testimony Lt. Brian W. Rice, Garrett E. Miller. and Edward M. Nero slammed Freddie Gray to the ground and began twisting him into “a pretzel” with their knees and full weight on his head, neck, and upper back. The three were on bikes when they “locked eyes” on Freddy Gray, and then chased him for simply running away in the opposite direction. The pursuit lasted for two blocks before they caught Freddie Gray, at which point according to their own story, Freddie Gray simply surrendered and did not resist them cuffing him behind his back. The officers then began going through his pockets and discovered a knife, which Brian Rice declared as illegal and at thar point, according to the piggies own statements, they slammed Freddie Gray to the ground face first for the purpose of “restraining” him until the police van arrived to transport him to jail.



The Continuing Legacy of the Fugitive Slave Act in Modern-Day Policing

The three little piggies had no lawful cause to have been chasing Freddie, no lawful cause to have seized him, no lawful cause to have placed him bondage, no lawful cause to have searched him, and certainly no lawful cause to have then subject him to a violent gang assault. However, none of this mattered to the three little piggies, to their superiors, to the States Attorney, or even to the Medical Examiner and so has been rendered irrelevant to the case. Undoubtedly, in the course of their physical assault on Freddie Gray the three little piggies heard his bones break, as they forcefully used their knees and full weight to press down hard on his head, neck, and upper back area under the pretext of “restraining” him.  Some argue that Freddie Gray brought the situation on himself when he ran “from the police,” but there is no law against running, even if in order to avoid encounters with police. The fact is that like so many other young Black men, Freddie Gray knew that those three little piggies meant him no good from the moment they “locked eyes” on him. Freddie probably knew that the knife in his pocket was legal for him to have, but also knew that once those three little piggies found it upon an unlawful stop and search, that he would probably be physically assaulted and taken to jail just for the hell of it. And indeed, this is exactly what happened. To the three little racist piggies Blacks are slaves or objects, and because Freddie Gray ran at the sight of them, he became a runaway slave that needed to be caught and disciplined for running.


The State Initiates the “Straw Man” Cover Up

Following the unprecedented quick referral of charges by the BPD not only against one officer, but six, States Attorney Marilyn Mosby just as quickly filed charges against them all. However, the scenario for the charges has been that Freddie Gray sustained the broken neck and severed spinal cord after being placed in the van, and not before. Why   Mosby decided to pursue the course of prosecution that she did is more than suspicious, for runs completely contrary to the facts and physical evidence. In addition to the irrefutable evidence that Freddie Gray was in severe distress at the point where he was on the ground, there is no evidence of Freddy Gray being subjected to a “rough ride” enough to break bones and sever his spinal cord, nor that he “may have” stood up in the van and suffered the injuries as a result of an “unsupported fall” as the van sped up or slowed down. And Marilyn Mosby admitted in interviews with the press that the basis of her actions was not facts, but about trying to chill out a burning Black community, truth and justice were irrelevant. Unfortunately, it worked, with many Black people praising her as if she were Harriet Tubman or Fannie Lou Hamer, come to deliver justice for Black folk.


   What is apparent is the Marilyn Mosby agreed to accept the scenario of events concocted by the BPD brass in order to protect the White officers, first by exonerating them of having inflicted the injuries in the course of their slave catching, then by throwing in three Black officers as fall-guys, resulting in a hybrid and convoluted prosecution that would be pulverized by the attorneys for the police, in other words, a “straw-man” case. Already since Mosby filed her charges, lawyers for five of the six officers have begun poking at the many holes in her purported prosecution, forcing Mosby to shift without a clutch. Eventually, the entire case will fall flat with the three White officers getting off with perhaps with probation and the loss of their jobs, with one of the Black officers being convicted of the most serious offense, but not serving a day in prison. 


    One crux of the scheme by which the prosecution was launched, was to remove the issue of race in the culpability for the injuries, whereby the point where they more likely where inflicted is moved to a place where there is no evidence that they could have been inflicted, from White hands to Black hands. Thus, the version of the prosecution is that Freddie Gray was not injured until after the three White officers placed him in the van, even though there is absolutely no evidence of any kind to support this conjecture. All three Black officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter, with the driver of the van also being charged with murder. Only one of the White officers was also charged with involuntary manslaughter, while the other two have only been charged with second-degree assault as their most serious charges, all based on the unsupported and contradicted claim that Freddy Gray suffered his injuries in the van ride. There is no evidence that Freddy Gray managed to stand up in the back of the police van, no evidence that he was subjected to a “rough ride,” no evidence that he was not hurting before being put in the van. However, there is ample evidence to the contrary, so how in the hell could Marilyn Mosby get it so wrong as to guarantee that not only will the three little White piggies essentially get off Scott-free for homicide, but that at least one Black person will take the weight for their crimes.


Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr.

  • 2nd-degree murder 30 yrs
  • Invol. manslaughter 10 yrs
  • 2nd-degree assault 10 yrs
  • Manslaughter-veh. 10 yrs
  • Manslaughter by veh. 3 yrs
  • Misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs


Officer William G. Porter

  • Invol. manslaughter 10 yrs
  • 2nd-degree assault 10 yrs
  • Misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs


Sgt. Alicia White

  • Invol. manslaughter 10 years
  • 2n-degree assault 10 yrs
  • Misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs


Lt. Brian Rice

  • Invol. manslaughter 10 yrs
  • 2nd-degree assault 10 yrs
  • 2 cts misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs



Officer Garrett E. Miller

  • 2nd-degree assault 10 yrs
  • 2 cts misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs




Officer Edward M. Nero

  • 2nd-degree assault 10 yrs
  • 2 cts of misconduct in office
  • Reckless endangerment 5 yrs




    If tried, convicted, and sentenced to the maximum on all charges, collectively the White officers face a total of just 55 years in prison. While the Blacks if convicted and sentenced to the maximum on all charges, collectively the Black officers face a total of 118 years in prison. There is no evidence that the White officers had conveyed to the Black officers what they had done to Freddie Gray, or in any way explained why they did not seat him on the bench and strap him in, and instead laid him face down in the van with his hands cuffed behind him and unfortunately for the Black officers, they did not question it either.


A Right Before Your Eyes Cover-Up

The job of a medical examiner is simply to determine causes of death, not to speculate on the deagly injuries were inflicted if not germane to the cause of death. However, State Medical Examiner David A. Fowler has also publicly stated that for certain that Freddy Gray sustained his deadly injuries while in the police van, as if he where there for certain. Yet, his conclusions are based entirely on supposition and conjecture, whereby he has stated that Freddy Gray “may have stood up” in the van as it was accelerating or decelerating, and that he “may have” suffered the “high impact” injury that broke his neck and severed his spinal cord by an “unsupported fall.” Mr. Fowler was not there and has not shown any evidence that there was a “rough ride,” nor that Freddie Gray had not suffered his injuries prior to being placed in the van. Thus, the finding of the Medical Examiner that Freddie Gray died as a result of a “high impact” blow may be true, what is false is the conclusion that it happened in the van. 


The Mystery of Freddie Gray Being Injured in the Van  

   According to the  official story being put out by the BPD, Marilyn Mosby, and now the Medical Examiner,“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 the B.P.D. Wagon,” However, Freddy Gray was laid out on the floor of the van on his stomach according to the police, with his hands cuffed behind his back. The back of the van is divided into two small compartments by a solid metal wall from floor to ceiling, with each compartment having a metal box-bench running its length, leaving a channel on the floor approximately 18 inches wide for feet. Freddy Gray was laid down on the floor in that channel by the three White officers, a further indication that they knew that they inflicted serious harm on Freddie Gray. Every person placed in the van is supposed to be seated on the bench and then strapped in for the very purpose of preventing injury. However, even though the three White officers apparently believed that they had seriously injured Freddy Gray, that not only picked him and dragged him to the van, then laid  him down in the van, but never suggested he be taken to a hospital or informed anyone else of their belief. Certainly the three Black officers were negligent in not taking the pleas of Freddie Gray for help seriously, but they were not present during the assault and in fact, where not told about it.


What WE the People Can and Must Do?

  It is paramount that we do not fall into the “wait and see” mode as was done in Sanford, Ferguson, and nearly every other case of racist injustice. The system has once again exposed itself as thoroughly racist, corrupt, and unworkable. Based on what has been done thus far, we need not wait for the injustice to come, especially when we can clearly see it coming down the track. We have both ample time and opportunity to prevent it through grassroots education, mobilization, and organization. We must move beyond protest and riot, in this regard we must develop the ability to conduct Peoples' investigations, to convene Peoples' grand juries, and to conduct Peoples' tribunals. The point being that we know that we cannot count on the system to accord justice, especially when we are the victims of its agents, therefore we must form a network of communities for the Peoples' Defense.


  At this point we must reject the current actions of Marilyn Mosby, and demand that proper charges be brought against each officer, with the more serious charges being brought against the three White officers. In order to do this, we must demand the following:

  • that Marilyn Mosby resign or step aside, with the current charging scheme being dismissed;
  • that Governor Larry Hogan appoint a Special Prosecutor and independent investigator;
  • that the three White officers be arrested for false arrest, aggravated assault, and first degree voluntary manslaughter for concealing what they had done to Freddie Gray, which contributed greatly to his not being taken to the hospital and the injury being aggravated;
  • that the three White officers be charged with conspiracy to commit manslaughter;
  • that the Medical Examiner be investigated for deliberately attempting to misinform the public and to conceal criminal wrongdoing.


   An intelligent, well organized, and definitely militant response is required here. We cannot afford to once again fall into the “wait and see” mode, and we must certainly move beyond protest and demonstration, we must organize around specific demands and goals. Form street teams to carry this message on a daily basis outside of the courts, police department, prosecutors office, on the corners and in the parks, wherever our people congregate – including the churches. We develop the capacity to gather and report our own news that informs us of what really need to know, by which we can build and expand strategic campaigns to bring about justice that is every persons' birthright. (For further insight visit

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