Not Just Freddie Gray: 10 Years Ago Baltimore Police ‘Accidentally’ Snapped Another Man’s Spine

- By Bossip Staff

Freddie Gray’s Death Compared to Dondi Johnson’s

A new report has surfaced about the spinal injury death of Freddie Gray.

10 years prior to Gray dying after his spine was somehow snapped while in police custody, another man named Dondi Johnson suffered a similar fate.

Dondi was arrested for public urination, put into a police van without a seatbelt and allegedly given a “rough ride” by authorities.

The Daily Beast reports:

Freddie Gray gave a cry of pain as the arresting officers hoisted him to his feet. Something seemed wrong with his legs as he was dragged in handcuffs to a police van.

More likely, he suffered the devastating and ultimately fatal spinal trauma after he was placed in the van.

“Something happened in that van,” Michael Davey, lawyer for the Baltimore police union, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Something like what happened in 2005 to another Baltimore man, who also suffered ultimately fatal spinal injuries after being placed in a police van.

In the earlier spinal injury death, 42-year-old Dondi Johnson was arrested for public urination and loaded into a police van similar to the one that would later be used to transport Gray.

Johnson gave no sign that he was in physical distress when he was locked in the van with his hands cuffed behind his back. Police Officer Nicole Leake would later testify that she failed to put him in a seatbelt as required by Department General Order K-14 because the nature of the charge against him suggested he had a full bladder.

Leake would deny that she gave him what is known in Baltimore as a “rough ride,” where the van is driven in such a fashion as to jounce and jangle the prisoners.

She did estimate that she reached a nearby police station in less than half the time it would have taken at the speed limit.

“When she arrived at the District and opened the back door of the van, Mr. Johnson was lying on the floor of the van and could not move,” court papers say.

“She did not call for medical assistance because Mr. Johnson did not ask for it, and she thought he was lying,” court papers say.

Police Officer Michael Riser asked Johnson to get up.

“[T]he b**** was driving like an a–hole,” Johnson replied, according to court papers. “I fell and I can’t move.”

“Officer Riser asked Mr. Johnson if he wanted ‘a medic,’ or if he wanted the officers to take him to the hospital,” court papers say. “Mr. Johnson replied: ‘Just take me to the hospital.’

Officer Riser testified that a prisoner faking an injury usually asks to be taken to the hospital.”

Records say he reported “that he was handcuffed and the wagon made a sharp turn, [he] fell, hitting face first and [heard] a pop and blacked out.’”

After his arrival at the hospital, Johnson was interviewed about how he came to be injured. Records say he reported “that he was handcuffed and the wagon made a sharp turn, [he] fell, hitting face first and [heard] a pop and blacked out.’”

Johnson underwent surgery for a serious spinal injury.

He died two weeks later, and his family filed suit.

SMH at these “rough rides” from the Baltimore police. If that’s truly what happened to Freddie then those six cops NEED to be put on trial.

Freddie Gray family

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