cover image They Killed Freddie Gray: The Anatomy of a Police Brutality Cover-up

They Killed Freddie Gray: The Anatomy of a Police Brutality Cover-up

Justine Barron. Arcade, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-950-99425-0

Journalist Barron debuts with an impassioned account of the circumstances behind 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s death while in the custody of Baltimore police in 2015. Barron argues that Gray’s death was the result of the violent assault by arresting officers and not, as the police claim, due to self-inflicted injuries or the failure to secure him during his transport to the police station. A relentless researcher, Barron draws on interviews with Gray’s neighbors and witnesses to his initial arrest, as well the state’s attorney office’s investigative file, forensic evidence reports, and law enforcement personnel records. She debunks the Baltimore police department’s account in meticulous, point-by-point detail, alleging that a cover-up orchestrated by political leaders, police administrators, and the federal Department of Justice protected the wrongdoers. Six officers were arrested, facing charges ranging from assault to second-degree murder; none were found guilty. Barron uncovers suppressed evidence, such as video recordings and witness testimony, that she asserts would have made convictions more likely if it had been shown to the public or at the trials. Barron’s writing is powered by outrage over Gray’s death and the failure to hold anyone accountable. Readers will be troubled. (Aug.)