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Experts on how violation of police seatbelt policy affects Freddie Gray case

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Legal experts are weighing in on the newly released documents, which show that when Freddie Gray was put into a police transport van, investigators said he was shackled but not in a seatbelt -- a violation of departmental policies.

Gray died a week after prosecutors said he suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Six officers have since been charged in Gray's death.

Documents obtained by FOX45 show on the day after Gray's death, Baltimore's top brass re-educated officers about the seatbelt policy at roll call during every shift for five consecutive days.

University of Maryland Law Professor Douglas Colbert says the documentation "reveals a critical piece of evidence that the prosecution will use at trial to establish that the police defendants or at least most of them were aware of the danger in not protecting a prisoner in transport."

The role each accused officer played in securing Gray in the back of the transport van will be carefully examined during the officer's trials. Colbert tells FOX45 News, "I think the lawyers for the defendants will attempt to show the officers did not know or were not aware or were not told the findings of this data."

The first officer will go on trial next month to face charges related to the April 12 case.

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