A Baltimore man has come forward to talk about his April 12 ride in a police van with Freddie Gray, saying in an interview that he heard his fellow prisoner briefly making noise on the other side of a metal barrier.
Allen’s account differs from the one described in a report in the Washington Post. Citing police documents, the newspaper quoted a prisoner telling investigators he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” and that he believed Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself.”
“All I heard was a little banging for like four seconds,” Donte Allen said. “I just heard a little banging.”
Gray suffered spinal injuries while in custody, and died a week later. His death sparked citywide protests that devolved into rioting and looting Monday.
Asked if he told police that he heard Gray banging his head against the van, Allen had a conflicting reply: “I told homicide that. I don’t work for the police. I didn’t tell the police nothing.”
Even with Allen’s account, it remains unclear what Gray was doing on the other side of the partition. Sources have told WBAL that Gray was unconscious by the time that Allen was loaded inside.
Allen told WBAL that when the van reached a West Baltimore police station, he heard officers saying Gray didn’t have a pulse. “They were calling his name, ‘Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray, and he wasn’t responsive,” Allen said.