Seat Belt Requirement Questioned in Freddie Gray Disciplinary Hearing

Nov 14, 2017

Brian Rice
Credit mug shot

BALTIMORE (AP) - The highest-ranking Baltimore police officer who responded to the arrest of a Freddie Gray who later died in custody didn't give a reason to investigators about why he didn't buckle the man into a seatbelt in the back of a van as required.

Detective Sgt. Thomas Curtis testified Monday at the start of administrative disciplinary proceedings in the case of Lt. Brian Rice, who is fighting for his job.

Curtis says when Rice was asked why he didn't put a seatbelt around Gray during an interview, he responded that "he just didn't."

But Michael Davey, Rice's lawyer, says the department failed to properly inform officers of a new mandate requiring seatbelts. That policy was only days old when Gray was arrested in April 2015. Davey also says shift commanders like Rice had discretion on whether to use a seatbelt.