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Conservative Blogs Circulating Fake Court Records for Freddie Gray Jr

April 29th, 2015

NOTE: Updated at 2:31pm Eastern to reflect new or updated information.

A few conservative blogs are circulating some unsubstantiated rumors that Freddie Gray Jr. had spinal surgery a week prior to his fateful arrest and subsequent death in Baltimore Police custody.

Examples of the allegations can be found on Snopes, since I’m not interested in linking to those other blogs. Snopes currently lists this rumor as “unconfirmed”, although they indicate:

The claim appeared almost simultaneously in three places: The Facebook page of Baltimore-based Fox affilate WBFF, the blog The Conservative Treehouse, and the blog The Fourth Estate.

Public records from Maryland County courts were linked, but much of the claim hinged on “sources” and dot-connecting.

At the time of my search, I found this case for Fredericka Gray (Gray’s mother).

unaltered screenshot of a case involving fredericka gray

Due to some 404 errors (the Maryland public records search may have been temporarily offline or overloaded with requests), I was initially unable to find the related 13C14101574, I mistakenly concluded that this screenshot had been doctored to use Freddie’s name in lieu of his mother’s. Case 13C14101574 is from the original screenshots, and so they do not appear to have been altered, as I had originally suspected. Here are the screenshots from that case number:

fake freddie gray court records

In any case, this case involve Gray as party to an out-of-court civil settlement with Allstate, and not from a “recent car accident”.

The Baltimore Sun has since reported that these cases involve the restructuring of that settlement.

Court records examined by the Baltimore Sun show the case had nothing to do with a car accident or a spine injury. Instead, they are connected to a lawsuit alleging that Gray and his sister were injured by exposure lead paint.

Of course it is still possible that Gray was involved in an automobile accident and/or had spinal surgery a week prior to his arrest, but the dots certainly do not connect in the manner that the conservative blogs would have you believe.

And even if Gray had a recent surgery, that still does not absolve the Baltimore Police Department of what appears to be obvious neglect of a suspect in their custody.

Update

WBFF, Baltimore’s Fox affiliate network has since pulled the story from their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FOXBaltimore/posts/10152842719584607

Snopes has gone back and forth on this all day, sometimes it is listed as “False” and sometimes as “Undetermined”. Until evidence supporting the “Car accident and surgery” narrative surfaces, though, I’m inclined to believe it’s false.

Comments

2 Comments

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  • munkeephun says on: April 29, 2015 at 1:57 pm

     

    You are mixing up your cases.

    There is a case for lead but there is also a case from a car accident, or do you think they sued a taxi company for lead poisoning?

    003(GAINEY, TERRANCE) Vs:(TAXI MANAGEMENT INC )

    The named defendants in the lead paint case are Dear Management And Construction Co., Inc. and BGM Realty #4 Corporation among others. This case was settled and paid in 2008.

    • David Z says on: April 29, 2015 at 2:55 pm

       

      If there are other cases, as you suggest, please provide case # and I’ll update if needed. There are 25 cases since January 2008 involving Taxi Management Inc, none of those appear to list Gray nor Terrance Gainey n any capacity whatsoever.

      I’ve revised my original article based on re-examination of the records pertaining to Freddie Gray. so, thanks for that! Initially i didn’t see 13C14101574 (and was unable to find it when the site started 404’ing on me), only 13C14101575. Both of those are related to the lead paint issue.

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