An email obtained by the Baltimore Sun reveals that at the height of protests in Baltimore following Freddie Gray’s death, former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was untruthful about meeting with the 25-year-old’s family to quell tensions.
The April 24 email from the Gray family attorney — one of nearly 7,000 emails and documents city officials turned over to the Sun in a public information request — details the family’s frustration upon learning Batts told the media he had indeed met with them.
“It has come to our attention that you made statements claiming to have met with the family of Freddie Gray, Jr. about the investigation into his death,” attorney William H. Murphy wrote. “These statements are not true. Stated succinctly, you have not met with Mr. Gray’s family. Please cease and desist making such statements.”
Murphy also told Batts that any meeting with the family would be facilitated by lawyers at the firm. Murphy also copied Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the letter.
On Monday, Murphy confirmed with the Sun that Batts “did not meet [Gray’s] mother, stepfather, father or his siblings. He was giving the impression that he did.”
The email is yet another negative in the embattled leader’s legacy; just this month, Mayor Rawlings-Blake fired Batts from his position and appointed Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis as interim commissioner. The personnel change occurred the same day the Baltimore Police Union came out with a report on the department’s handling of the protests sparked by Gray’s death. Rawlings-Blake said the report did not play a role in her decision.
Gray, 25, died in Baltimore police custody from a severed spinal cord in April. An October trial has been set for the six officers involved in his unlawful arrest and death.
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty