On April 29th the Washington Post ran an explosive article highlighting information from a passenger who was inside the transport vehicle at the same time Freddie Gray was driven toward central booking. According to the Washington Post source: Freddie Gray was intentionally “trying to injure himself“.
On April 30th local Baltimore media outlet WBAL-TV introduced Donta Allen, a person they claimed was the passenger in the transport vehicle.
However, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON.
Our research indicates the office of Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, used or allowed one of her deputy State Attorneys, Janice Bledsoe (who was in charge of the investigation as assigned by Marilyn Mosby), to willfully and intentionally place a false story using Bledsoe’s lover, WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller, and thereby create a fictitious story to imply Donta Allen as the passenger outlined in the Washington Post story.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The full story: The Washington Post does not specifically name the passenger who heard Freddie Gray attempting to injure himself. However, they do provide details as to the identity – details we can independently confirm (emphasis mine).
BALTIMORE — A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.
The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.
The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.
[…] Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, declined to comment on the affidavit, citing the ongoing investigation. The person who provided the document did so on condition of anonymity.
[…] The third stop was to put the other prisoner — a 38-year-old man accused of violating a protective order — into the van. The van was then driven six blocks to the Western District station. Gray was taken from there to a hospital, where he died April 19.
[…] The prisoner, who is in jail, could not be reached for comment. No one answered the phone at his house, and an attorney was not listed in court records. (link)
We can confirm a 38-year-old Black Male was picked up and transported in the same 04/12/15 timeframe as Freddie Gray for “Violate Exparte/Prot Order || Violation Of A Protective Order” – Listed in BPD arrest records.
Click image to enlarge
This aligns with the Washington Post article outline as reported last Wednesday (04/29).
The following day, April 30th, WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller presented an initially exclusive interview with the man she claimed was this passenger.
However, the man she presented, and named as Donta Allen: • Was not in jail. • Was 22-years-old. • Was not picked up for violating a protective order; and nothing about his description aligned with the prior report.
The other man who was loaded into the police transport van carrying Freddie Gray spoke out Thursday for the first time.
West Baltimore resident Donta Allen, 22, was the second man loaded into the police van near the end of the run on April 12.
He raised controversy with what he told police because he told them something he really he had to speculate on because he wouldn’t have known for sure.
“On the morning of April 12, I went into a store right here at Penn/North Avenue to get a cigarette,” Allen said.
Allen was picked up by city police at the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues on a suspicion of stealing. The city’s camera system recorded the van that arrived and picked up Allen. It was the same van that was carrying Gray. (link)
Immediately national media reports began conflating the two “passengers” and claiming the Washington Post passenger was ‘walking back his statements’.
Like many people we were initially confused; and despite the age difference we thought Donta Allen was the Washington Post passenger quoted in the police affidavit. We were wrong.
Thanks to some additional research, digging and luckily with some anonymous Baltimore police talking on camera last night, we were able to connect the dots.
Donta Allen was not the passenger in the transport van as outlined by the Washington Post. Actually, Donta Allen was never in the van WITH Freddie Gray at all.
Despite Donta claiming on CNN with Don Lemon that he arrived in the Baltimore Booking Station “while overhearing police talking about Freddie Gray not breathing”, there’s absolutely no indication he was ever there on 4/12/15. Nor is there an arrest record, or a booking record, for him on that date.
UPDATE 5/2/15 @2:25pm : CNN’s Don Lemon was initially confused and needed to reach out to the Baltimore prosecutor to confirm the identity (CNN TRANSCRIPT):
DON LEMON: I spoke to him [Donta] yesterday. What people didn’t realize, I was out here talking to him yesterday [Thursday 4/30]. No one knew who he was. The records at the police station show that he’s still in jail.
BROOKE BALDWIN: He was still in jail. But he’s not.
LEMON: And he’s not. And that was the issue of getting it on yesterday. Because we had it yesterday, we had it first, but we want to be — I’d rather be accurate than first. And so, today, when we spoke with the prosecutor, they said, indeed, it is him. You’ll hear his story tonight.
BALDWIN: OK, Don Lemon, great coverage. Thank you so much my friend.
LEMON: Thank you, Brooke.” (link)
As you can see, a confused Don Lemon reaches out to “the prosecutor” (likely Marilyn Mosby or perhaps Janice Bledsoe) and the Baltimore prosecutor confirms Donta Allen as the witness passenger in the transport van. Which leads to this confusing video:
Despite the brutal contradictions between what is factually known, and the claims by Donta in the video above, there is actually a way to reconcile them. Donta never saw Freddie Gray, Donta is projecting himself, via a belief into the story, based entirely on the flawed assumptions delivered by the pundits doing the questioning.
SO WHO IS HE? Original reports in the Baltimore media when the Freddie Gray story first broke, mentioned that two people were in the alley when approached by officers. Two people took off running in opposite directions. One person, Freddie Gray, was immediately caught. The other, was caught later in the day and released without incident.
All indications are that Donta Allen was this second person who fled, was caught/questioned, and then released. There is no evidence of Donta Allen ever being in custody on 04/12/15.
So how did this story come to the media, and why would the originator of Donta Allen to the public, WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller, sell it?
It is not coincidental Donta Allen appeared the day following the explosive Washington Post story.
Indeed by all accounts if the Washington Post story was accurate it seriously undermined the case against the Baltimore officers. Especially given the medical examiner stating that Freddie Gray’s injuries occurred INSIDE the transport vehicle during transit and not when he was stopped by police.
This is where State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s main Deputy Attorney and lead investigator, Janice Bledsoe, comes in to play:
RE: MARILYN MOSBY […] Among other charges involving campaign contributions and Mosby’s marriage to City Council member Nick Mosby, the FOP said in a letter, “These conflicts … include the lead prosecutor’s connections with members of the local media. Based on several nationally televised interviews, these reporters are likely to be witnesses in any potential litigation regarding this incident.”
[…] Janice Bledsoe is the deputy state’s attorney who led the Freddie Gray investigation.
Deputy State’s Attorney for Criminal Justice Janice Bledsoe [right], one of the two lead investigators in the death of Freddie Gray. Her partner is WBAL’s Jayne Miller [left]. (Jefferson Jackson Steele / May 1, 2015)
It appears almost certain that Donta Allen was established then leaked to reporter Jane Miller by her girlfriend Deputy SA Janice Bledsoe in an effort to deflect attention from the concerns of the Washington Post story.
If you watch Donta’s various interviews you can see how he’s making it up as he goes along. In addition, according to the officers now speaking out, both Donta Allen and Freddie Gray were known LEO informants (snitches) as a consequence of their past drug encounters and arrests.
That is why despite Donta saying he was arrested (04/12 during the transport to central booking) there is no record for his arrival or arrest. He is playing a role and selling a story that benefits his community and those who would pressure him, ergo himself.
Whether reporter Jayne Miller knew she was presenting a fraud (duped), or was a willing partner to the efforts of her girlfriend Janice Bledsoe (co-conspirators) are unknown variables. How else would Ms. Miller find Donta Allen were it not for her partner Ms. Bledsoe.
The actual witness to Freddie Gray’s activity while en-route to the booking facility is the 38-year-old Black Male arrested on 4/12/15 for charges of violating a protective order – and accurately outlined in the original Washington Post article.
Meanwhile if Head Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby knew what her foot soldier Asst. Deputy Attorney Janice Bledsoe was doing, well, she should be immediately recused, reprimanded and perhaps even fired or disbarred.