Maryland is moving to possibly ban police "rough rides" that killed 25-year-old Freddie Gray nearly a year ago in April. Gray died in the custody of Baltimore police after he was refused medical assistance following an unbuckled ride in the police custody van. His pleas for help were mocked as "jailitis" by one of the officers, as reported by the Baltimore Sun, citing the Baltimore Police Department's internal investigation. The city of Baltimore would eventually reach a settlement with Gray’s family for $6.4 million.
These absolutely legal "rough rides" are meant to hurt people as they are being transported The Baltimore Sun writes, but this barbaric practice may become a thing of the past. As Jezebel reports, citing the Baltimore Sun, a new law has been proposed that would require people to be buckled up in a police custody van. The law states that officers would be fined $10,000 in the event a prisoner who isn't wearing a seatbelt is "seriously injured" or "killed." Many agree the proposed bill could have saved Gray's life.
Gray died from severe spinal cord injuries he sustained during an unbuckled ride in the police custody van. William Porter, one of the six Baltimore officers charged with Gray's death, said he didn't think Gray was hurt. The Associated Press reports Porter said he did however notify "the driver and a supervisor" of Gray's request. A trial for Porter was declared a mistrial in December after a jury couldn't reach a decision.
The Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police president Vince Canales is not down with police accountability saying of the proposed bill, "It's almost guilt before innocence. You're not able to defend yourself."
Jezebel reports that in addition to the proposed bill Baltimore legislators voted to get a recording system for police transport vans and video and audio recording for police vehicles statewide.