Alicia White saw Gray, handcuffed and kneeling in a police van, and spoke to the back of his head to ask if there was a problem. She told officials she interpreted Gray’s silence as an unwillingness to cooperate.
BALTIMORE (TAUT) — One of six police officers charged in the 2015 fatal arrest of Freddie Gray has been promoted from lieutenant to captain.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Alicia White will serve as captain of the Performance Standards Department, which conducts audits and inspections to ensure the agency is following its policies correctly. She filled a similar role for her promotion Friday.
Gray, who was black, died after suffering a serious spinal cord injury in a police van. His death caused days of turmoil.
White was one of six officers charged in the Gray case by Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby. Three of the officers were acquitted and Mosby dropped charges against the remaining three, including White.
Federal prosecutors declined to press charges after an independent Justice Department investigation.
In a 2016 interview with The Sun, after her state charges were dropped, White defended her actions.
“I still believe that when I went to work that day, I was doing everything I was trained to do,” she said. “Unfortunately someone lost their life that day. But I feel like everything I’ve been trained to do, I’ve done.”
White was responding to the scene after Gray was already in police custody, to investigate complaints about the arrest, officials said. Mosby said White was responsible for investigating the arrest, but only “talked to the back of Mr. Gray’s head.” Mosby said White failed to call a doctor or properly assess his injuries.
White said that when she arrived at the scene, she saw Gray kneeling in the police car and asked if there was a problem. White later told investigators Gray didn’t really respond, which she said meant he didn’t want to cooperate. She said she saw no reason to seek medical attention at the time.
Gray was not fastened with a seat belt in the car, against department rules. When the van arrived in the Western District, officers said not to inhale Gray in the back. White then called for a medic. Gray died of his injuries a week later.
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