The mother of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died in April while in the custody of Baltimore police, reportedly was hospitalized this week after trying to take her own life. Gloria Darden is set to receive a settlement of millions after her son died of a spinal cord injury he allegedly received while with the police.
Reports the Washington Post: “Just last month, Gloria Darden — the mother of Freddie Gray, whose death after an alleged ‘rough ride’ with Baltimore police sparked riots in the city this past spring — found some measure of vindication. Baltimore settled with Gray’s family for $6.4 million, as six officers implicated in Gray’s death await trial.”
Wednesday evening, Darden, a self-admitted heroin user, was hospitalized with “superficial wounds.” Reports also indicated she has been receiving ongoing psychiatric evaluations and treatment.
A lawyer for the Gray family, Billy Murphy, issued the following statement:
“Because of an improper invasion of her privacy, Ms. Darden is being thrust into the national spotlight about an extraordinarily personal matter while she is still mourning the loss of her son. I saw her today and I can assure you that this kind of publicity is not at all helpful. We strongly urge the media to show restraint. The family asks that you continue to pray for her and for them.”
“I seen the police and ambulance right there. They were taking the lady out and putting her on the stretcher bed,” Darden’s neighbor told CBS Baltimore.
Gray’s death in April led to five straight nights of protest, vandalism and violence – acts condemned by both Darden and Gray’s stepfather, Richard Shipley. “I was so hurt and ashamed that [the protesters] would apparently attempt to use violence in the name of Freddie,” Shipley said at the time. “Even though it was a tragic situation we must protest and raise our voices in a peaceful manner.”
Over 200 businesses were damaged or destroyed, and nearly 500 individuals were arrested. Gray was arrested because it was thought he possessed an illegal switchblade. Gray was transported unsecured in the back of a police van – which was contrary to department policy. He sustained the injuries in transport, slipped into a coma, and later died.
Adds the Daily Mail: “Six police officers were charged with crimes ranging from misconduct in office to second-degree murder over Gray’s death, which prosecutors say was a direct result of police negligence and indifference to the young man’s suffering.”