Autopsy shows that Freddie Gray died of ‘high energy spinal injury’ in paddy wagon

A medical examiner found Freddie Gray suffered a ‘high-energy injury’ while riding in a Baltimore police van and the failure of officers to follow procedures means the death is a homicide, according to an autopsy report.

Police arrested Gray, 25, on April 12 and he died a week later, prompting protests and rioting.

A grand jury indicted six officers on various charges; one officer faces the most serious charge of second-degree ‘depraved-heart’ murder. They have pleaded not guilty.

The autopsy found the injury, similar to those suffered in shallow-water diving, was most likely caused when the van suddenly decelerated, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The report said Gray’s death could not be ruled an accident and is instead a homicide because officers didn’t follow safety procedures ‘through acts of omission.’

A spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner and for the prosecutor’s office declined on Tuesday to release the report, but State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby condemned the leak in a statement.

‘I want to make it very clear that the state’s attorney’s office did not release the Freddie Gray autopsy report. 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.

Attorneys for the officers released a joint statement saying they had not yet received the report, although Mosby is expected to turn it over to the defense by Friday. The defense attorneys said they believed only the prosecutor and the medical examiner’s office had copies.

The newspaper reported it 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 officers loaded Gray into the van on his abdomen, the medical examiner surmised Gray may have gotten to his feet, then been thrown into a wall when the van abruptly changed direction.

Because Gray wasn’t belted in and had his wrists and ankles shackled, he was ‘at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van.’

Police and an attorney for the Gray family have said previously that Gray suffered a severe spine injury.

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