The Baltimore Sun provides an inside look into the investigation that led to charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray in April. As massive protest marches continued, the pressure was building inside police headquarters, and then-Commissioner Anthony Batts wanted answers fast. Near midnight on a cool night, he pressed six top commanders for details about Freddie Gray's death. A 30-person task force was interviewing witnesses, reviewing video and searching records after Gray died, but crucial questions remained. Did Gray suffer an injury before his spine was damaged in police custody? Was he hurt while being dragged to a police van or was he malingering? Did police beat him? Batts asked his commanders if they were aware of the growing tension downtown, where swarms of protesters had halted rush hour traffic. Demonstrators yelled and swore at police officers, chanting “No justice, no peace!”
“Are you guys paying attention out here?” Batts said. “And it's going to get worse if we don't give them some answers to something.” Batts' words on April 23 added to the pressure that commanders and task force members felt as they hustled to answer a question: How did Gray die? Now, that question will be central to the trials of the six officers charged in the 25-year-old's arrest and death. Prosecutors allege that officers did not put Gray in a seat belt after his arrest and failed to provide medical care that he requested — violations of department policy. The six officers, who are suspended, maintain their innocence. The Sun followed task force members as they canvassed for witnesses, re-enacted Gray's arrest and mapped the van's journey across West Baltimore, looking for clues that could either absolve or incriminate their peers.