Baltimore’s police department may not enjoy this ride at all.
It is investigating a sign photographed inside an official city police van reading “Enjoy Your Ride, Cuz We Sure Will!”
The photo started making the rounds on social media Tuesday and was challenged by many as Photoshopped.
City Paper reported Thursday that it had obtained the original photographs and believed them to be authentic.
The photographer, who wished to remain anonymous, told City Paper she snapped it outside the police department’s headquarters.
“I was on the way to BMZA zoning hearing for Royal Farms,” she said. “I didn’t have time to do any editing.”
With six officers indicted on charges connected with the death of Freddie Gray in the back of a similar van, the photos come at an inconvenient time for the city, which is still recovering from riots after Gray’s death.
According to an autopsy report leaked to the Baltimore Sun, Gray was likely killed when the van police were transporting him in suddenly decelerated.
Gray was not wearing a seat belt in the van, only shackled by officers and thus “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van,” the report said.
A sudden deceleration is known as a “rough ride” and has been used by police to control or punish uncooperative detainees for years.
“The nature and the posting of wording in one of our transport vehicles is both concerning and unacceptable,” the Baltimore City Police 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.”