Freddie Gray suffered a single "high-energy injury" to his neck and spine — most likely caused when the police van in which he was riding suddenly decelerated, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by The Baltimore Sun.
The state medical examiner's office concluded that Gray's death could not be ruled an accident, and was instead a homicide, because officers failed to follow safety procedures "through acts of omission."
Though Gray was loaded into the van on his belly, the medical examiner surmised that he may have gotten to his feet and was thrown into the wall during an abrupt change in direction. He was not belted in, but his wrists and ankles were shackled, putting him "at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van."
The medical examiner compared Gray's injury to those seen in shallow-water diving incidents.
The Baltimore state's attorney's office charged the six officers involved in Gray's arrest and transport. Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. the driver of the van, is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, while Sgt. Alicia D. White, Officer William F. Porter and Lt. Brian W. Rice are charged with manslaughter. Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller face lesser charges, including second-degree assault.