Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts did not meet with the family of Freddie Gray after the 25-year-old's death in police custody in April, a claim that he made on several occasions, according to the family's attorney.
According to the Baltimore Sun, once the Gray family's attorney William H. Murphy Jr. found out that Batts had continually made this bogus claim, he sent a letter to the then-commissioner and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake demanding that Batts stop making the false statement.
"It has come to our attention that you made statements claiming to have met with the family of Freddie Gray, Jr. about the investigation into his death," Murphy wrote in a letter to Batts on April 24. "These statements are not true. Stated succinctly, you have not met with Mr. Gray's family. Please cease and desist making such statements." The letter was one of more than 7,000 documents and emails released to the newspaper in response to a public-information request.
Murphy added that he would help facilitate a meeting between the police commissioner and the family if one were requested.
When asked about the letter this week, Murphy said that Batts "did not meet [Gray's] mother, stepfather, father or his siblings. He was giving the impression that he did."
Batts said that he and other city officials who met with a man who turned out not to be a member of the Gray family were "lied to," according to the Sun. He didn't recall how he found out the man was not a family member.
Rawlings-Blake fired Batts earlier in July, noting that he failed to make the city safer and adding that "the people of Baltimore deserve better."
Read more at the Baltimore Sun.