A Video of Freddie Gray's Arrest Has Disappeared

BPD
The Baltimore Police Department has removed one of 16 videos of Gray's arrest it reportedly posted on YouTube. Eric Thayer/Reuters

Last month, the Baltimore Police Department reportedly posted a series of videos to YouTube showing surveillance footage of a police van transporting Freddie Gray to a booking station after his arrest on April 12. The department has since taken one video down, while the others remain online.

It has been more than a month since Gray died on April 19. Most of the footage that previously surfaced was of his arrest, the justification of which authorities are still questioning. Cellphone video captured by witnesses shows officers pinning Gray to the ground at the scene of his arrest. The footage also shows officers dragging Gray, who appears limp and standing on one foot, as one bystander yells, "That boy's leg looks broke!" One witness said he saw Gray "screaming for his life" and officers kneeing on the back side of the man's body. Police have said Gray was arrested "without force."

The Baltimore Sun reviewed cellphone video from witnesses and surveillance footage to try and determine what happened to Gray in the hour between his arrest and his arrival to the booking center with a spinal injury. At least 16 different surveillance cameras captured moments in that hour. But the footage from one of those cameras—located at the second of three police van stops, at Baker and Mount streets—later was removed from YouTube. The camera is part of the city's surveillance system, and it rotates around the intersection every minute, according to the Sun.

So what appeared in the video that caused police to take it down from YouTube? Baltimore police didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment. They also didn't provide the Sun with an explanation.

According to the paper, at 8:46 a.m., the surveillance video captured the police van carrying Gray driving around the corner from Presbury Street, headed south on Mount Street. A minute later, the van is parked north of Baker Street. Gray isn't visible in the back of the vehicle, but the recording showed a witness who was shooting cellphone video at the scene.

The witness, who requested anonymity to the Sun, reportedly was accompanied by a local woman named Michelle Gross. Earlier, Gross said she had seen the police dragging Gray into a van before officers drove away with him. She lent her cellphone to her neighbor, who called 911 to report the incident. The pair then went to Mount and Baker streets, where the neighbor recorded Gray's encounter with the officers.

That cellphone recording, which Sun journalists viewed and posted online Wednesday, shows Gray's body halfway out of the vehicle with his stomach on the floor and his legs hanging off the back. Four officers standing over him placed shackles around his ankles. The short video shows police restraining Gray, as another officer enters the scene, exits his vehicle and walks toward the van. Gross yells to Gray to ask if he is OK, but no response is audible. Her neighbor shouts something at Officer William Porter, who the Sun notes later is one of the six officers charged in Gray's death. The neighbor told the newspaper that Porter pointed to Lieutenant Brian Rice, who eventually moved toward Gross and her neighbor with other officers and threatened to use a Taser if they didn't leave the scene.

The Sun's report said surveillance confirms part of the Taser account. The paper pointed out that a police news release from April 16, four days after Gray's arrest, stated that video footage revealed Gray was conscious and speaking when the van left Mount and Baker streets. Yet neither the witness nor surveillance footage from the area shows Gray speaking or moving.

The Sun credits the cellphone video, as well as the two witness accounts, as providing the most detailed public account of the van stop.

Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney for Baltimore, has said Gray was not buckled into the police wagon per Baltimore Police Department regulations. She also found that several officers ignored Gray's multiple requests for medical attention.