(BALTIMORE) — A sign inside a Baltimore police van that says “Enjoy your ride, cuz we sure will!” has sparked criticism in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray — and the department has launched an internal investigation, according to officials.
The department was put in the national spotlight after six officers were charged in the death of Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in April. An autopsy report leaked to the Baltimore Sun said that Gray died of a high-impact injury as a result of not being secured properly during transport.
“This sign is yet more proof that the Baltimore City Police Department is in need of serious investigation, oversight and reform,” Gray’s family layer, William “Billy” Murphy, Jr. told ABC News in a statement Friday. “While we wait on the Department of Justice to do this very thing, our response as a united community should be patience and calm.”
The sign’s authenticity has been confirmed by the city’s police, which told ABC News in a statement that the department has launched an internal investigation.
“The nature and the posting of wording in one of our transport vehicles is both concerning and unacceptable,” Baltimore Police Department Ret. Rashawn Strong said. “We have recently become aware of the wording and have begun an internal investigation to determine all the circumstances surrounding its placement and to identify the person or persons responsible for its posting. This is an incident that is being taken very seriously.”
The photographer, who lives in Baltimore, told ABC News they wished to remain anonymous.
The “story is about the photo’s message and not me,” the photographer said.
The State’s Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the sign.
The DOJ has launched a federal civil rights probe of the Baltimore Police Department. The results of the probe were not clear.
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