- Billionaire real estate mogul and reality star Donald Trump fired off several angry tweets blaming President Obama for the unrest in Baltimore. One read: “Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”
- Fox News host and Fox contributor Lou Dobbs and Dr. Keith Ablow blamed President Obama for the violence in Baltimore. On his show, Dobbs claimed that “there is a war on law enforcement” that is “corroborated if not condoned by this administration.”
- Fox News host Carson Tucker called the protests “a threat to civilization itself,” and asked, “Why wouldn’t someone fire a shotgun in the air and say knock it off?” Because random gunfire from the police always calms things down.
- Presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blamed the unrest in Baltimore on “the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society.” Paul’s comments came just days after his son, was arrested for driving under the influence in Lexington, Kentucky. This was 22-year-old William Hilton Paul’s third alcohol-related arrest.
- Rush Limbaugh asked why Democrats are suddenly calling on parents to control their kids.
- A Baltimore protestor shamed Fox News host Sean Hannity. “We shouldn’t be moralizing people’s frustration and pain. What we should be moralizing is the systemic violence that has been put on people in Baltimore,” Adam J. Jackson said, before Hannity ended the interview.
- On “Fox & Friends,” Dr. Phil McGraw, of television’s “Dr. Phil,” asked, “Where are their parents?” in reference to the protesters.
Bystander video shows Gray screaming in pain while being dragged to a police van. He also reportedly requested an inhaler, because he suffered from asthma. At 8:46 a.m., the van stopped because Gray was “acting irate” according to police. Officers took him our of the van to put leg shackles on him. Again, video trumps the police account, because video of the stop counters officers claims.
When Gray was placed back in the van, police admit he was not placed in a seatbelt — a direct violation of police policy. At 9:24 a.m., police requested paramedics to take Gray to an area hospital. A subsequent charging document said, “During transport to Western District via wagon transport the Defendant suffered a medical emergency and was transported to Shock Trauma.”
Gray’s “medical emergency,” suffered in those 45 minutes, resulted in three fractured neck vertebrae that left his spine 80 percent severed at his neck, and a crushed voice box, which doctors said could result from “powerful blunt force” and “hyperextension of the neck.” After spending a week in a coma, Gray died of his injuries on April 19.
The attorney representing the officers in the case said Gray was hurt while riding inside the police van. Police commission Anthony W. Batts also admitted that officers failed to get medical attention for Gray “in a timely manner,” and should have called for an ambulance when he was initially arrested. Batt admitted that officers violated department procedure by not putting Gray in a seat belt.
Baltimore’s police department has paid out million of dollars to people injured in police vans, during “rough rides” or “nickel rides,” in which a police van is driven recklessly while detainees in the back are wearing handcuffs and/or leg irons, but not seat belts.
The family of Donald Johnson, Sr., won $7.4 million verdict against officers, after a 2005 van ride left him a paraplegic.
Jeffrey Alston was awarded $39 million by a jury, after he was paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a van ride.
The city paid $100,000 to the family of Homer Long, after he suffered a fatal heart attack in a police van in 2003.
Since 2011, Baltimore has settled or lost more than 100 police brutality cases, to the tune of nearly $6 million.
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