(Tom Cleary of Heavy.com) – Freddie Gray, who died a week after suffering injuries while in Baltimore police custody, had a lengthy criminal record, mainly for drug-related offenses, according to state court records. Police claim he was “involved in criminal activity,” prior to his arrest.
Gray, 25, died after spending seven days in a coma as a result of injuries he suffered while in the custody of city police, the Baltimore Sun reports.
He was arrested April 12 by four officers outside a public housing complex. Police said four bicycle officers tried to stop Gray for an unspecified reason and he ran from them. They caught him and detained him while waiting for backup.
It’s not yet known how Gray died. His death has sparked unrest in the city, including protests that turned violent.
Freddie Gray Arrest Record
Gray had a lengthy arrest record with convictions dating back until at least 2007, according to the Maryland Department of Justice. Not all of the arrests led to convictions, in many of the cases he pleaded guilty to one charge while the others were dropped. Exact details of when he spent time in prison were not immediately available. His arrest record includes at least 18 arrests:
- March 20, 2015: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
- March 13, 2015: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault
- January 20, 2015: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing
- January 14, 2015: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
- December 31, 2014: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute
- December 14, 2014: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- August 31, 2014: Illegal gambling, trespassing
- January 25, 2014: Possession of marijuana
- September 28, 2013: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second-degree escape
- April 13, 2012: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation
- July 16, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute
- March 28, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- March 14, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute
- February 11, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- August 29, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation
- August 28, 2007: Possession of marijuana
- August 23, 2007: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- July 16, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)
Why Was Freddie Gray Arrested Before His Death?
Details of what led police to try to arrest Gray in April 2015 have not been made public by police. Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez told the Baltimore Sun that details of the arrest remain “a bit vague,” and that the officers patrolling a high-crime area with drug issues believed Gray was “immediately involved or had been recently involved in criminal activity.”
Documents obtained by the Guardian show that he was charged with unlawful possession of a switch blade knife, which was found after he was detained. The documents are not clear about what led to the stop. No other charges are listed.
The Associated Press reports Gray has been in and out of prison on drug convictions since 2008, according to online court records. He was set to start a trial in May on drug charges stemming from a December arrest.
“We had officers in a high-crime area known to have high narcotic incidents,” Rodriguez said, according to the AP. “The officers believe that Mr. Gray was immediately involved or recently involved in criminal activity and decided to make contact.”
Police released a timetable of the events leading up to Gray’s arrest and death. He was seen at about 8:40 a.m. on April 12 on a street northwest of the city’s downtown. The officers approached Gray and he ran. He was caught about two minutes later two blocks away.
The officers called for a transport van at about 8:42 a.m. Then, at 8:54 a.m., a block away from where Gray was arrested, the van left for the Western District station “after stopping to place additional restraints on the suspect.” At about 9:24 a.m., an ambulance is called to the Western District station.
Tom Cleary is a reporter and editor for Heavy.com. Tom was a breaking news reporter at the Connecticut Post and an editor at the Register Citizen and New Haven Register. He can be reached by email at Tom.Cleary@Heavy.com. Follow him on Twitter @tomwcleary.