15:05 GMT30 November 2020
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    Freddie Gray's Death Triggers Mass Protests in Baltimore (63)
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    The second man transported in the same police van as Freddie Gray on the day of his arrest has come forward to set the record straight about what he witnessed, asserting that a news story relying on police documents got it wrong.

    Donta Allen, 22, came forward after the Washington Post wrote a story claiming that the other man in the police van with Freddie Gray had said Gray was "banging against the walls" and "was intentionally trying to injure himself."

    Gray was arrested April 12 for making "eye contact" with a police officer and then running away. After a 30 minute ride in a police van — which picked up a second person, Allen, towards the end of the ride — Gray arrived at the police station unresponsive and medics were called. Gray died a week later of his injuries, including a severed spinal cord, which police have yet to fully explain.

    Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has also spoken about the statements of the second person in the van with Gray.

    "The second prisoner who was picked up said that he didn’t see any harm done to Freddie at all," Batts told WJZ-TV. "What he has said is that he heard Freddie thrashing about."

    The Post story did not rely on an interview with the witness, but cited "a police document" written by a Baltimore Police investigator. 

    At the time, Gray's family and attorney expressed skepticism at the Post report — “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far" — and if Donta Allen is to believed, they were right to. 

    Allen's come forward to say he never made those statements to police, that he never saw Gray who was seated behind a partition in the van, and that all he heard was a "little banging" during an otherwise "smooth ride" to the police station. 

    Allen was upset and accused the police of trying to "cover their ass" by fabricating statements from him. 

    "And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to hisself," Allen told WJZ-TV. "Why the f*** would he do that to hisself?"

    "I had two options today right, either come and talk to you all and get my credibility straight with you and not get killed or not tell a true story," he added.

    "The only reason I’m doing this is because they put my name in a bad state."

    State Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby announced Friday that Gray's death had been deemed a homicide by a city medical examiner. Among the various charges announced against the six officers involved was a charge of second-degree depraved-heart murder against the driver of the van, officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr.

    Freddie Gray's Death Triggers Mass Protests in Baltimore (63)


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    police van, witness, police investigation, injuries, The Washington Post, Donta Allen, Freddie Gray, Baltimore, Maryland
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