First paramedic to see Freddie Gray says his neck felt ‘like a bag of rocks’ to her touch

The Baltimore paramedic who first responded to Freddie Gray following the fateful ride in a police transport van that would end his life said his neck felt ‘like a bag of rocks’ to her touch.

Angelique Herbert, who works with the Baltimore City Fire Department, took the stand on Wednesday during the trial of police officer Caesar Goodson.

Goodson, 46, has been charged with second-degree depraved heart murder for driving the van in which Gary suffered a broken neck and ultimately died a week after he was arrested on April 12.

Herbert told the court that the first think she asked the officers who transported Gray to the police station was ‘What the f*** did you guys do?’

   

‘His eyes were open, but he didn’t respond,’ she said during testimony, according to ABC News.

‘I went over, put my hand on his chest and (it) didn’t move…I said to my partner, ‘I don’t think he’s breathing”.

Herbert said the officers first told her they didn’t know what happened. One officer claimed Gray could have been ‘banging his head up against the side of the van’.

But Herbert found no cuts or bruises and no signs of swelling on the back of Gray’s neck, she said. The only blood was on his upper lip. Herbert said she began to treat him for a possible drug overdose.

Officer William Porter and another cop were supporting Gray’s neck, according to Herbert. She said the 25-year-old man was on his knees and Goodson was standing nearby.

Goodson, who also faces charges of manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, is one of six officers who have been indicted in Gray’s death.

All six have pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution, which has spent the trial trying to prove Goodson intentionally gave Gray a ‘rough ride’, rested their case against the officer on Wednesday.

They also called Stanford O’Neill Franklin, a former commander of education and training for the Baltimore Police Department, to the stand.

Franklin said on the stand that Goodson missed opportunities to put Freddie Gray in a seat belt in the back of the van during several stops, instead of leaving him shackled on the floor.

On trial: The six officers implicated in Gray's death, clockwise from top right: Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller, Edward M. Nero, Alicia D. White, Brian W. Rice, William G. Porter

‘It’s extremely important that the ride be as smooth as possible to prevent the person in the back from being propelled around the inside,’ Franklin testified.

But under defense cross-examination, Franklin said officers have discretion ‘in extreme circumstances’ and that regulations didn’t allow Goodson to enter the back of the van when he was the only officer there.

Franklin told the defense he could not say for certain that Goodson had given Gray a ‘rough ride’.

The defense filed a motion for acquittal on Wednesday, arguing the prosecution did not have enough evidence for the case to go forward, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams will rule on the motion Thursday morning, before the defense is set to begin its case.

Goodson has elected to have his fate decided by Williams rather than a jury.

Officer Porter testified last week that he had responded to a call to assist Goodson at the fourth stop the van made while transporting Gray.

Arrest: Goodson, who faces a murder charge, among other charges, is the third of six officers to be tried in the death of Gray, whose arrest is pictured here. Prosecutors say he drove dangerously, not caring if Gray died

Porter found Gray, who was shackled, lying on his stomach on the van’s floor, his head toward the front of the vehicle.

‘What if anything did Mr. Gray say?’ asked prosecutor Michael Schatzow.

‘I said, “What’s up?” He said, “Help,”‘ Porter said. ‘”What do you need help with?” “Help me up.”‘

No medical aid was sought and Porter, who faces a retrial in September, helped put Gray onto a bench inside the van.

Gray was not buckled into a seat belt, a violation of department procedures.

Schatzow read from a statement that Porter gave internal affairs investigators in which the officer said he had told Goodson that Gray should be taken to a hospital.

Asked if Goodson had agreed, Porter paused, then said: ‘Sure.’

A medical examiner’s report concluded that Gray was fatally injured between the second and fourth stops that Goodson made.

In his opening statement Schatzow said Goodson bounced Gray around by deliberately driving unsafely in retaliation for him yelling and kicking inside the van.

Goodson also stopped the van at one point and saw that Gray was injured, he said.

Gray’s injures left him comatose in University of Maryland hospital, where he died on April 19.

His death set in motion protests and rioting in Baltimore and stoking a US debate on police treatment of minorities.

Gray's death set in motion protests and rioting across Baltimore and stoked a US debate on police treatment of minorities. Pictured are protesters outside the courthouse on Monday 

Source: The DailyMail

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