Freddie's Last Ride
By: Mary Anne Whelan Ph.D MD
About the Book
This book is about Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody in Baltimore as a result of a broken neck. Six officers were subsequently tried, but the trials of three were dismissed and the others were found not guilty on various charges. The charges were incorrectly placed by Attorney General of Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby. Mosby relied on the Autopsy Report which, in turn, took its opinion of the timing of Gray's death from the self-invested Baltimore Police. It didn't happen in the van: the arresting officers broke his neck. The media perpetuated Mosby's misreading of the report which confused Opinion with formal, medical, forensic evidence, thereby reinforcing both the misplaced charges and public misunderstanding, and facilitating the consequent injustice that set Baltimore on fire.
This book takes apart the process and testimony of the trial from an informed medical point of view. It critiques the prosecution, the autopsy report, and the testimony of the expert witnesses. It reviews the important medical concepts necessary to evaluating what happened, and the medical ethics which should (but did not) prevail in such cases.
This book should be of broad interest: to those concerned with the processes of racial injustice in America generally; to those concerned with medico-legal ethics; to medical and legal educators and their students. The message is both topical and enduring, and the book is unique because of its authoritative medical perspective.
The author wants readers to take away an appropriate understanding not only of what happened in this case, but of the necessary changes in the approach to such situations. And I want them to understand that this is not just a problem for the Black community, but for all of us.
About the Author
Mary Anne Whelan has a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and an MD with Board Certification in Neurology and Psychiatry with Special Competence in Child Neurology. Retired from clinical practice and teaching appointments at Dartmouth and Columbia Medical schools, she remains professionally active as an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Child Neurology as a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (member of the Section on Public Health, Epidemiology and Evidence), and as a reviewer of papers for several medical Professional Societies. She serves on her hospital's Ethics Committee.
She has often been asked about why, with all the injustices in this world, she has taken on this one. It is because this one landed in her territory.