Angelique Herbert, a paramedic with the Baltimore City Fire Department, took the stand today in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. This is the third officer trial in relation to Gray's death.
Herbert was the responding medic to the scene and described her arrival in detail during testimony. She said the first words she uttered to officers transporting Gray were: “What the f--- did you guys do?”
“His eyes were open, but he didn’t respond. His eyes didn’t blink,” Herbert recalled of Gray. “I went over, put my hand on his chest and (it) didn’t move…I said to my partner, ‘I don’t think he’s breathing.’”
Gray, a black man, suffered a fatal spinal injury while riding unsecured in the back of a police van in April 2015.
Herbert said Officer William Porter and another officer were holding Gray's neck. Gray was on his knees, leaning backward, with his neck supported by the two officers. Goodson stood nearby.
According to Herbert, when the officers responded to her initial question, they said they didn’t know what happened. Herbert said one officer told her it could have been Gray "banging his head up against the side of the van."
She described beginning medical interventions and feeling the back of his neck. He had no swelling, bruises or cuts visible. She said she saw some blood on his upper lip, right below his nose.
When the defense began questioning Herbert, they asked if her training led her to believe he was dead. Herbert responded that she thought he was not breathing.
“I was trained that if non-breathing -- what we call life-threatening -- like Mr. Gray, and they poop themselves, that’s bad. And they may not come back,” she said.
She said when she touched his neck it “wasn’t in line and felt crumbly like a bag of rocks.”