Baltimore Cop Probe Wasn't Finished Yet

Task force watched Freddie Gray charges announced on TV
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
Local rappers from right, Kova, Bilal, and Spence, sing on a street corner near the scene of some of Monday's rioting following Freddie Gray's funeral, Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(Newser) – A Baltimore police task force was doggedly investigating Freddie Gray's death—cramming months of work into about two weeks—when charges were filed against six officers on Friday, the Baltimore Sun reports. "We're still going strong as far as this task force is concerned," Maj. Stanley Brandford, who led the force, said late last week. "We have to fight fatigue." But when his cellphone rang Friday morning, he stepped out in the hall and never came back: State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby had decided to file charges, relying on a police probe and her own team of investigators, who sometimes worked with city sheriff's deputies. Brandford's team watched the TV, stunned, as Mosby made her announcement: "This was not something that was quick, fast, and in a hurry," she said.

The task force aimed to "show that they would leave no stone unturned" despite allegations of police brutality, the Sun says. "They wanted an answer for any question prosecutors, attorneys, and the public might ask." The investigators had no access to the six officers, but they canvassed West Baltimore for witnesses, mapped out the van ride with a pricey laser-imaging system, watched video along the van's route, tried counting the van's stops, and created their own timeline of events. Among their findings: An officer on the ride said Gray suffered from "jailitis" (a concocted illness), and driving officer Caesar Goodson heard Gray request medical help several times. Despite Mosby's decision to file charges, the team is back at work, plowing through its lengthy to-do list. (An investigation insider says an unprotected bolt in the police van killed Gray.)

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