Donta Allen, the other passenger detained in the same police van as Freddie Gray, has come forward in clarifying an April 29 Washington Post article that quoted him by claiming Gray was “banging against the walls”. In addition to “intentionally trying to injure himself.”
In refuting that WaPo story, Allen spoke to the Baltimore CBS news station WJZ and gave an exclusive soundbite to anchor Mike Schuh. Out of fear of misrepresentation, Allen explained his original statements and what he really felt happened on that infamous police van ride that contributed to Gray’s demise.
As Allen told Schuh:
“All I did was go straight to the station, but I heard a little banging like he was banging his head. And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to himself. Why the [expletive] would he do that to himself?”
As Newsweek reported, the two were separated by a “metal partition”, so Allen could not see Gray but he could hear him.
“When I got in the van I didn’t hear nothing. It was a smooth ride. We went straight to the police station. All I heard was a little banging for awhile, four seconds. They did something to him. His body be wobbling back there. He can’t hurt himself in the back of no paddy wagon.”
At the time of the Post‘s publishing, Allen was not identified by name, but was confirmed by authorities that it was him in the same van. To be momentarily unnamed was a cautionary move to protect his safety. (He was arrested for stealing a cigarette, but was not charged).
Allen’s clarification are the latest in what’s been an attempt of putting together the pieces of what happened to Gray the moment he was detained by cops and arrived at the Baltimore City police station with a mysterious spinal cord injury. Following his passing, from the injuries, on April 19, uprisings took over Baltimore. Residents were enraged by the insensitive tactics of the police force. They had failed to get Gray proper medical assistance when the victim had alerted them of his ailment.
On May 1, prosecutor and State Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced in a press conference that the six police officers involved with arresting Gray were charged on the criminal grounds of homicide and the charges include manslaughter, false imprisonment and second degree murder.