BALTIMORE — A medical examiner found that Freddie Gray sustained a “high-energy injury” while riding in a Baltimore police van and that the failure of the officers to follow procedures meant the death was a homicide, according to an autopsy report obtained by The Baltimore Sun.
The police arrested Mr. Gray, 25, on April 12, and he died a week later, prompting protests and rioting.
A grand jury indicted six police officers on various charges; one of the officers faces the most serious charge of second-degree ”depraved-heart” murder. All have pleaded not guilty.
The Sun reported Tuesday that the autopsy found the injury, similar to those sustained in shallow-water diving, was probably caused when the van suddenly decelerated. The report said Mr. Gray’s death could not be ruled an accident and was instead a homicide because officers did not follow safety procedures “through acts of omission.”
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A spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner and for the prosecutor’s office declined Tuesday to release the report, and Marilyn J. Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, condemned the leak in a statement.
“As I have repeatedly stated, I strongly condemn anyone with access to trial evidence who has leaked information prior to the resolution of this case,” she said.
Lawyers for the officers released a statement saying they had not received the report, although Ms. Mosby is expected to turn it over to the defense by Friday. The newspaper reported that it had obtained a copy of the autopsy, and sources who verified it for The Sun requested anonymity because of the high-profile nature of the case.
Although the officers loaded Mr. Gray into the van on his abdomen, the medical examiner surmised that Mr. Gray may have made it to his feet and then been thrown into a wall when the van abruptly changed direction. Because he was not belted and he had his wrists and ankles shackled, he was “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van.”
The police and a lawyer for the Gray family have said Mr. Gray sustained a severe spine injury.