Second Prisoner in Police Van With Freddie Gray Speaks Out: 'I Just Heard Little Banging'
When Freddie Gray was being transported to jail on April 12, a second prisoner was loaded into the police van. That man, 22-year-old Donta Allen, spoke out for the first time today. In an interview with WBAL, Donta (who was arrested for stealing) says he told homicide investigators (because he "doesn't work for the police") he heard "bangs" coming from the side of the van where Freddie was seated. He says: "When I got in the van, I didn't hear nothing. It was a smooth ride. We went straight to the police station. All I heard was a little banging for about four seconds. I just heard little banging, just little banging." Donta says he told investigators Freddie was intentionally banging his head against the van. "When we got to the police station, they said he didn't have no pulse or nothing," Donta says. "They called his name, 'Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray.' And he wasn't responsive." Freddie was transported to a hospital and died a week later. According to reports, the autopsy report (which has not been made public) there is no evidence that Freddie hit his head against anything on his own. However, according to sources briefed on the findings of a police report turned over to the state prosecutor on Thursday as well as preliminary findings made by the medical examiner’s office, there is no evidence that Freddie's fatal spinal cord injuries were caused during the arrest. Those sources told another local TV station the medical examiner found Freddie's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van. Details surrounding exactly what caused Freddie to slam into the back of the van was unclear. The officer driving the van has yet to give a statement to authorities. It’s also unclear whether Freddie's head injury was voluntary or was a result of some other action.