Human Rights

Baltimore: Thousands of Suspects Arrive Too Injured to Go to Jail, Records Show

Nearly 2,600 detainees were turned away by city’s detention center in the past three years, suggesting police officers either ignored or did not notice the injuries.

Freddie Gray after his fatal injury.
Photo Credit: via YouTube

Correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center refused to admit nearly 2,600 detainees who were in police custody between June 2012 and April 2015 because their injuries were too severe, the Associated Press reports.

The records, obtained by the Baltimore Sun through a Maryland Public Information Act request, did not detail how the detainees were injured. It did state that the arresting officers either ignored the injuries or didn’t notice them. All detainees are constitutionally guaranteed medical treatment.

The records show that 123 detainees had visible head injuries. Some had broken bones, facial trauma and high blood pressure. The Sun also reported that most of the police vans lacked safety belts.

The Baltimore Police Department is under intense scrutiny after 25-year-old Freddie Gray was arrested in April and suffered fatal injuries while in custody. Gray’s death set off protests in the mid-Atlantic city that drew thousands of people to the streets. The six officers involved in his arrest were criminally charged May 1.

The city of Baltimore has paid out more than $5.7 million in settlement money over the past four years to victims alleging police brutality.  

The U.S. Justice Department announced Friday that it was opening an investigation into the BPD. The DOJ’s findings may lead to an outside federal police monitor overseeing any recommended changes it suggests.




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Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @Russian_Starr.