Washington (CNN)Rep. Keith Ellison said Thursday he doesn't believe there's any truth to the claim that Freddie Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself in the police van where he became unconscious.
Congressman doesn't buy prisoner's claim about Freddie Gray injury
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that a prisoner sharing the police van with Gray told investigators that he believed Gray "was intentionally trying to injure himself." That prisoner could not see Gray from his seat in the van as the two were separated by a metal divider.
Ellison, a Democratic congressman from Minnesota and former criminal defense attorney, suggested Thursday on CNN's "New Day" that the prisoner was intimidated by investigators and said he was just "trying to survive."
"If you are charged with a crime in custody and the officers come to you and say, 'Hey somebody's saying that we beat up Freddie. Did you see anything like that?' 'Oh no sir,'" Ellison said. "Come on, it's pretty transparent."
Investigators in Baltimore are still working to determine how Gray suffered a spinal cord injury and a crushed voice box, apparently while in police custody.
A relative of one of the officers involved in Gray's arrest, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CNN that the officer believes Gray was injured while he was being detained, before Gray was put in the police van.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated which state Rep. Keith Ellison represents.