They Killed Freddie Gray exposes a conspiracy among Baltimore leaders to cover up what actually happened to Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in April 2015. After Gray’s death, Baltimore became ground zero for Black Lives Matter and racial justice protests that exploded across the country. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby became a hero when she charged six officers in Gray’s death, and the trials of the officers generated national headlines for two years.
Yet the cause of Gray’s death has remained a mystery. A viral video showed an officer leaning on Gray’s back while he cried out in pain. But the autopsy concluded he was fatally injured later that morning while the van was in motion—during a multi-stop “rough ride”—from sudden impact to his head. None of the officers were convicted of any crimes based on this theory.
They Killed Freddie Gray solves the mystery of Gray’s death by uncovering new evidence of how he was killed by police and how his cause of death was covered up. In coordination with a documentary film now being produced, this book revisits a pivotal moment in US criminal justice history, providing new insight into what happened, the historical structures of power that allowed it to happen, and the personalities and dynamics involved—a story never told by the mainstream media. It includes a detailed map with annotations by the author, photographs, and a foreword by Rabia Chaudry.
"Meticulous and engrossing, They Killed Freddie Gray provides a multifaceted analysis of the investigative, prosecutorial, and journalistic shortcomings that characterized the aftermath of Freddie Gray's arrest. Unearthing new details, it reveals the cover-up that has kept the full story from us until now. ‘No Justice, No Peace’ was the rallying cry on Baltimore's streets soon after Gray's death. This book explains why and how justice was not done, and why the city, and the country, should still feel no peace."—Stuart Schrader, author of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing
Justine Barron is an investigative journalist whose work focuses on crime, corruption, and media criticism, with a special emphasis on Baltimore. She is also an acclaimed storyteller and four-time winner of the Moth storytelling competition. Her work has appeared in the Appeal, Rolling Stone, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Real News, Jewish Journal, NPR-WLRN, Miami Herald, and numerous local independent outlets in Baltimore. In 2017, she co-investigated and co-hosted Undisclosed: The Killing of Freddie Gray. In 2021, she was honored with a Best of Baltimore Award for her work by Baltimore Magazine. Justine grew up in Maryland and attended Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Duke University. She now lives in Miami, Florida.
Sierria Warren was born and raised in West Baltimore. She is a mother, activist, podcaster, and comedian. She witnessed the police van's stop at Mount and Baker streets during Freddie Gray's fatal encounter with Baltimore City police.
Tawanda Jones is the sister of Tyrone West, who was killed while in police custody in July of 2013. Her regular "West Wednesday" protests demanding justice for her brother have been held over 500 times.
Ray Kelly is the Executive Director of Citizens Policing Project and a lifelong resident of West Baltimore. He is a seasoned community organizer, advocate, and activist and was recently appointed by Governor Wes Moore to the Maryland Police Training and Standards Committee commission.
Eze Jackson is an emcee, producer, and community organizer.