Often times, the Department of Justice of the United States will investigate police departments accused of misconduct. It is not always guaranteed that justice will be served, though. According to Yahoo News, “There’s a high threshold for bringing federal civil rights charges against police officers in such cases. Federal investigators must show an officer willfully deprived a person of his or her civil rights by using more force than the law allows, a standard that’s challenging in rapidly unfolding confrontations in which snap judgments are made.” The feds stepped in recently to investigate other instances of police brutality in Ferguson, for the killing of Mike Brown, and in New York, for the choking death of Eric Garner. Now, attorney general Eric Holder and his crew have turned their eyes on Baltimore for the mysterious death of 25-year-old Black male, Freddie Gray.
On April 12th, Freddie Gray was apprehended by six Baltimore police officers after he “made eye contact” with them in a section of the city known for drug activity. Officer Garret Miller alleges that Gray was holding a switchblade. During his 30 minute ride in a police van, officers claim that Gray became “irate,” so they shackled his ankles. He was pleading for an inhaler and medical assistance according to Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. He was rushed to the hospital. Gray died a week after his arrest on Sunday. He is said to have succumbed to trauma from an injury to his spinal cord.
Investigators from the Department of Justice are “gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violation occurred,” in the death of Freddie Gray, says spokeswoman Dena Iverson. The six officers involved (Officers Garrett Miller, Caesar Goodson, William Porter, Edward Nero, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White) have all been suspended with pay.