New report shows thousands of Baltimore arrestees too injured to enter jail
BALTIMORE (May 11, 2015) — Newly released records show that thousands of people have been brought to the Baltimore city jail in recent years with injuries too severe for them to be admitted.
The Baltimore Sun obtained records showing that correctional officers at the jail refused to admit nearly 2,600 detainees who were in police custody between June 2012 and April 2015.
Baltimore police are under scrutiny for their treatment of detainees following the death of Freddie Gray last month. Six officers have been charged in Gray’s death, which sparked riots and widespread protests.
The records obtained by The Sun show that 123 of the detainees who weren’t admitted to jail had visible head injuries. Others had broken bones or facial trauma.
When Baltimore State’s Attorney Maryliyn Mosby charged six police officers in Gray’s death, she said the officers had ignored pleas for medical care during Gray’s arrest and 45-minute transport ride in the police van.
Authorities have not yet determined exactly how Gray was injured, but many suspect he was hurt while in the transport van. Prosecutors claim his hands and feet were cuffed and he was not wearing a seatbelt – a direct violation of police department policy. Police policy also says officers must get medical help when a suspect asks for it.
When Mosby announced the criminal charges against the officers involved, she said at least five of gray’s requests for medical care were ignored.
On Friday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Department of Justice is conducting a broad civil-rights investigation into the Baltimore police department.
The Sun says law enforcement experts and criminologists believe Gray’s death shows police lack adequate training to detect injuries, and add that many suspects fake injuries to avoid jail.
The Sun has previously reported that dozens of Baltimore residents have accused the city’s police of inflicting injuries on them and disregarding their requests for medical help. The paper reported in September 2014 that the city has paid out almost $6 million in court judgments and settlements in response to over 100 lawsuits filed since 2011.
Police did not comment to The Sun, and department spokespeople did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.