Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a neck injury while riding in a police van in Baltimore, told officers he had a “bad back” weeks before his death, according to court documents filed by attorneys for one of six cops charged in the case.
Lawyers for Caesar Goodson, 46, the officer who drove the van carrying Gray, filed the motion seeking the dead man’s medical records last month.
The filing suggest lawyers may try to convince a jury that Gray was already injured at the time of his fatal encounter with police.
Goodson, whose charges include second-degree depraved-heart murder and involuntary manslaughter, is scheduled to go on trial January 11.
Gray’s April 12 arrest in Baltimore was captured in bystander videos. His death one week after the injury sparked outrage and demonstrations, some of which were plagued by arson, vandalism and looting despite his family’s pleas for peace.
In the motion seeking Gray’s medical records, Sgt. John Herzog describes a meeting with Gray less than two weeks before the arrest that led to Gray’s death.
While providing information on robbery cases, Gray was “awkwardly sitting” and told officers “something to the effect of ‘I hurt my back,’ or ‘I have a bad back,'” Herzog said in a document dated May 1.
Goodson’s lawyers are seeking records “likely to contain Mr. Gray’s medical history, which would include any past spinal injury.”
A judge last month declared a mistrial in the case against Officer William Porter, the first of the six cops to be tried.