Kevin Moore, 28, the man who captured the video that went viral of Freddie Gray being loaded into the police wagon, stood Friday evening at the corner of Baker and N. Fulton Avenue — near the memorial to the Baltimore man whose death has sparked protests in the city and beyond.
On the side of the apartment building, someone had spray-painted Freddie’s name in black against a blue background.
They had his date of birth — August 16, 1989 — and the date of his death — April 19, 2015. Someone had left a sign saying: “Eric Garner.”
Another sign said, “This is our revolution.”
Moore recalled the day Freddie was stopped by police. “My first reaction was to start recording. I woke up to my people telling me they were tazing my man. I come out and I could see them repositioning their Taser. I recognize they had Freddie on the ground. He was face down on his stomach, handcuffed. The heels of his feet were almost in his back. That’s how folded they had him.”
Moore said he recalled seeing an officer who seemed to weigh about 240 pounds with his knee on Freddie’s neck.
“Freddie was 130 pounds. Why is your knee in the back of his neck?” Moore said. “That explains the three cracked vertebrae. That explains the crushed larynx. That explains the spinal cord being severed.”
Moore said his reaction to criminal charges announced Friday by the state’s attorney was one of dismay.
“I’m looking for more than the manslaughter charge,” Moore said. “Why did the guys who had him pinned down to the ground, folded up like a piece of origami — they had him folded like a pretzel — these guys could be the same guys that paralyzed him.... why did they just get manslaughter? That is the reason he couldn’t walk on his own to the paddy wagon.
“It was three officers trying to help him to the paddy wagon,” Moore added. “Then you take him on Mount Street and you shackle the man who can barely walk? And you rough ride him for 45 minutes to take him to the police station which is four minutes away.”
Moore, who wore a red, yellow and green hoodie sweatshirt, said he also had emotions of joy upon hearing the announcement of the criminal charges against six officers.
“You’re finally getting some step toward justice and something is going to be done about it,” he said. “It’s not going to be swept under the rug.”
Moore recalled his experience in a police wagon. “We don’t get strapped in. They never ask us do we need medical attention. ‘Are you in pain?’ Freddie was crying out. ‘I can’t breathe. I....I.....
“I’m sure you heard the screams on the video. You can tell the difference between a fake scream and a genuine scream that says someone is in pain.”