One photo in a Facebook post circulating locally today shows a person in an orange prison jumpsuit costume with “Freddie Gray” written on the back.
“Ur going to jail tonight,” the caption says.
Another photo shows two students posing in the same kind of prison jumpsuit outfits, a Snapchat caption with a racial slur added.
The racist overtones of the photos, apparently showing Halloween partying over the weekend, had several north Baltimore private schools issuing statements today.
“The young man” and “the young lady” are students at the Gilman School and Roland Park Country School, according to officials who responded in a joint statement after the online furor the post has stirred.
“We recently learned of a set of photos, one of which includes a Gilman School student and a Roland Park Country School student, that contain highly inappropriate captions, and that are spreading fast through social media,” the statement said.
Officials said they are still assessing the facts but offered some initial findings:
- The young man shown in the picture with the young lady, is not the same young man who is seen in the single photo bearing the name ‘Freddie Gray’ on his outfit.
- The persons who wrote the captions seen in the pictures are not students at either one of our schools.
- The young man who took the photo of the two minors is not a student at either one of our schools.
- “The young man who combined the two photos and posted them on social media is not a student at either one of our schools.
WBAL TV11 News confirmed that the person in the Freddie Gray costume is a graduate of Boys Latin school and obtained this statement from the school’s headmaster.
“I am deeply troubled that an individual would choose to act in this way, and I am so sorry for any hurt or pain that these actions have caused,” the statement said. “Boys’ Latin denounces the insensitivity and intolerance depicted by these images.”
Depicted in the costume as a prisoner, Freddie Gray was the 25-year-old West Baltimore man stopped by police in 2015 for allegedly carrying an illegal switchblade.
By the time Gray arrived at police district headquarters, transported in a city police van, he had fallen into a coma from which he never recovered. His death a week later of a broken neck sparked protests, rioting and a days-long curfew enforced by Maryland National Guard troops.
Six Baltimore police officers were charged with allegedly causing Gray’s death with a rough ride in the van, but none of the indictments resulted in a conviction.