A man claiming to be a Baltimore police officer is facing criticism on social media over posts he made on Facebook about the death of Freddie Gray.
Avraham “Avi” Tasher claimed to be a Baltimore City police officer on his now-deleted Facebook page, according to the website Photography Is Not a Crime. Screenshots of his comments, taken before he deleted the page, have sparked outrage among some on Twitter.
The city and the police department have not said whether Tasher is a city police officer, but public records show that there is an officer with that name working for the department.
Tasher’s Facebook posts included anger at CNN for “causing a race riot” in Baltimore and a claim that Gray “broke his own neck.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Claims Gray Broke His Spinal Cord by Slamming His Own Neck Into a Wall
Tasher claimed in a post on Facebook that Freddie Gray intentionally injured himself while in the back of the police transport van. The Facebook post was made days before a Washington Post article revealed similar claims about Gray’s death.
Another prisoner who spent time in a transport van with Freddie Gray states in a police document in the investigation the 25-year-old Baltimore man’s death that he heard Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle, the Washington Post reports.
The document was leaked to the Post on the condition that the other prisoner not be named out of fears for that man’s safety. The other prisoner said in the report that he thought Gray “was intentionally trying to injure himself.” The report was written by a Baltimore City Police investigator.
Tasher cited the same witness claims in his post.
2. He Blamed CNN’s ‘Biased Coverage’ for Causing a Riot in Baltimore
Tasher also claimed in a separate post, made on CNN’s Facebook page, that the riot was the network’s fault.
3. He Has Commented About Being a Cop on News Stories in the Past
Tasher has commented on other news stories, claiming to be a police officer and a weapons expert, including a post in August 2014.
4. His Posts Angered Many Baltimore Residents & Protesters
Screenshots of his posts were passed around social media, with many people calling him “racist.”
5. He Works for the Department’s Organized Crime Division
According to a search of public records by Photography Is Not a Crime, Tasher is listed as working for the department’s Organized Crime Unit.