The man who was the crux of Baltimore police’s story saying that Freddie Gray sustained his own injuries in the back of a police van went on record yesterday saying that this is not the case, reports The Guardian.
Donta Allen, 22, has been interviewed by both local and national media since Thursday, and confirmed that he was the “second prisoner” authorities said was inside the police van with Gray on April 12. Gray sustained significant injuries on the day of his arrest, and later died as a result sparking massive protests in the city of Baltimore.
The Guardian reports that according to a police timeline, the second prisoner was placed in the vehicle around 20 minutes after Gray was arrested at 1700 Presbury Street, in West Baltimore.
However, Allen directly refutes a police leaked document, reported by the Washington Post with the dubious headline “Prisoner In Van Thought Gray ‘Was Trying To Injure Himself,’” by “banging against the walls.”
“I don’t work for the police,” said Allen, who was arrested for allegedly stealing a cigarette from a store. “I did not tell the police nothing.”
The Guardian reports:
Investigators have said Gray and the other prisoner were separated by a wall and never saw each other. But the testimony of the second prisoner has become crucial in piecing together the circumstances of Gray’s death. Baltimore city officials have maintained it is likely Gray sustained his injuries inside the van.
“And they’re trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to himself,” Allen said. “Why the f*** would he do that to himself ?”
In another interview with WBAL TV, Allan said that when he was placed in the van he didn’t hear anything and described the journey to the Western District police station as a smooth ride. “All I heard was a little banging for about four seconds,” Allen said.
“They did something to him,” continues Allen to WBAL. “His body be wobbling back there. He can’t hurt himself in the back of no paddy wagon.”
Asked again if he had heard Gray banging his head against the van, Allen responded: “I told homicide that. I don’t work for the police. I did not tell the police nothing.”
Yesterday, police handed their findings to the state attorney for Baltimore, who today announced that all six officers will face criminal charges. State prosecutor Marilyn Mosby confirmed that her office launched its own independent investigation into Gray’s death, and that “justice will be served” in the volatile case that mirrors so many others across the nation.