Baltimore: In a crucial revelation that is set to bring a remarkable twist to the case of Freddie Gray's custody death, it has emerged that a senior cop involved in the incident had been hospitalised for mental health conditions and his guns were confiscated.
According to the Associated Press, which cited records from the sheriff's office and court, police officer Lt. Brian Rice who chased Freddie Gray on April 12, had been under scanner for mental health problems two years ago.According to a 2012 report obtained by the news agency from the Carroll County, Maryland, Sheriff's Office, deputies reported that all weapons possessed by Rice were confiscated and he was transported to the Carroll Hospital Center.
The weapons included his .40-caliber police pistol, a 9 mm handgun, an AK-47-style rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and two shotguns.
According to the report, Rice had three years threatened to commit an offensive act saying, he "could not continue to go on like this".
It was not immediately clear how long Rice was at the hospital or whether he went on his own accord.
The events described in the 2012 report provided the basis for one of at least two administrative suspensions for Rice in 2012 and 2013, a person familiar with the police department staff said.
In another revelation, Baltimore police have discovered through a new security camera footage that the police van carrying the arrested black man Freddie Gray had made another stop that was previously unknown to the investigators.
Speaking to the reporters, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said that a team of investigators had carried out a careful examination of events surrounding the April 12 arrest of Freddie Gray. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis said they found a new footage that showed the police van had stopped at one more stop- a grocery stop before picking up another prisoner.
Davis said the stop was found through footage from a privately owned camera.
Earlier, the police van carrying Freddie Gray was known to have just made three stopovers.
According to a news agency, the store owner, who speaks Korean said that two police officers visited his store during the week of April 20 and later made a copy of the surveillance video.
Jung Hyun Hwang told The Associated Press he did not review the video with police and he didn't know what was on it. He says his original recording was on a laptop that was stolen during the riots and looting Monday night.
The new revelation comes as the Baltimore police completed their investigation into the death of Freddie Gray a day before the deadline and handed over their findings to prosecutors.
Meanwhile, according to a Reuters report that cited an ABC affiliate, the medical examiner found Gray`s catastrophic injury was caused when he was slammed into back of the police transport van and apparently broke his neck. Law enforcement sources also said Gray sustained a head injury that matches bolt in the back of police van, the affiliate reported.
Gray's death was the latest in a series of high-profile cases around the country in which black men have died as the result of encounters with police.
Similar protests have erupted over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York last year, and the death earlier this month in South Carolina of Walter Scott. Scott was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer who has since been charged with murder.
With Agency Inputs