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Report: Autopsy shows Freddie Gray suffered 'high-energy injury'

Report: Freddie Gray autopsy shows 'high-energy injury'
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Story highlights

  • Gray's family is "dismayed that someone leaked the autopsy report," lawyer says
  • Autopsy report shows Gray suffered injury akin to shallow-water diving accident, newspaper says
  • Six officers and their attorneys haven't seen the autopsy report yet, they say

(CNN)A day after six Baltimore police officers pleaded not guilty to all charges in Freddie Gray's death, a newspaper reported his autopsy shows he suffered a "high-energy injury" most likely caused by a sudden slowing of the police van holding him.

The injury was likened to a shallow-water diving accident, according to the Baltimore Sun's account of a copy of the autopsy report.
    The State Medical Examiner's Office declared Gray's death a homicide because officers failed to follow safety guidelines "through acts of omission," according to a copy of the report obtained by the newspaper.
    The report provides a better picture of what happened to Gray, whom police put on his belly in the back of the van. Gray wasn't belted down, and he may have risen to his feet and then was slammed against an interior panel during an abrupt change in direction, according to the newspaper's account of the autopsy report.
    With his ankles and wrists shackled, Gray was "at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van," according to the newspaper's summary of the report.
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    Gray tested positive for opiates and cannabinoid, according to the newspaper's account of the autopsy.
    The autopsy report has not been made public.
    The six officers and their attorneys haven't seen a copy of the report, the attorneys said in a joint statement Tuesday.
    "It was our understanding that the only copy of the autopsy was in the possession of the State's Attorney's Office and the State Medical Examiner's Officer," the defense attorneys said. "We were expecting, and continue to expect, all discovery, including the autopsy, to be turned over to us by no later than Friday, June 26."
    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore isn't releasing the autopsy report because it's evidence in a criminal case, spokesman Bruce Goldfarb said.
    The prosecutor's office also declined to release a copy of the report.
    The Gray family was "dismayed that someone leaked the autopsy report to prejudice the administration of justice," family attorney William Murphy Jr. said in a statement.
    The attorney noted the revelation's "gruesome intimate details of Freddie Gray's killing and its horrific physical consequences," he said.
    "We are also dismayed that despite our repeated requests, we have not yet received the autopsy photographs, the medical examiner's autopsy notes, the tests performed on Mr. Gray's body, and everything else upon which the medical examiner relied, including all related video footage, all police radio recordings, and the statements of all persons who witnessed or were involved in Mr. Gray's arrest and transport," Murphy added.
    The six officers pleaded not guilty Monday to all charges against them, court records said. The charges could lead to decades in prison, based on their alleged actions in Gray's death. Among them: illegal arrest, misconduct, assault and involuntary manslaughter.
    Gray, 25, was arrested on a weapons charge April 12 but suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody that led to his death seven days later. His death sparked protests and riots in Baltimore.
    Pleading not guilty were Officer Garrett E. Miller, who joined the force in 2012; Lt. Brian W. Rice, an officer since 1997; Officer Edward M. Nero, on the job since 2012; Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., a veteran since 1999; Sgt. Alicia D. White, on the force since 2010; and Officer William G. Porter, who joined the force in 2012.
    Goodson, who prosecutors say was driving the van used to transport Gray after his arrest, faces the most charges, and the most severe: second-degree depraved-heart murder.
    Prosecutors "look forward to trying this case," Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
    "The defendants have all entered not guilty pleas, which is their right. All defendants in this case are presumed innocent, until or unless they are found guilty," Mosby said.
    The U.S. Justice Department is looking into the Gray case under a civil rights inquiry.