An autopsy report says Freddie Gray, the black man who died in April after being injured while in police custody in the U.S. city of Baltimore, suffered a "high-energy injury" to his neck and spine that mostly likely happened when the police van that was transporting him suddenly slowed down.
The Baltimore Sun detailed the report from the state medical examiner, which the newspaper said late Tuesday it obtained and verified with other sources.
Gray died a week after being injured, triggering protests and rioting in the city.
The autopsy report said Gray's wrists and ankles were shackled, but that he was not strapped in with a seatbelt as the van made several stops with him in the back, the Sun reported. As a result, the report said, Gray could have stood up, but with no ability to see outside the van and predict its changes in momentum he was "at risk for an unsupported fall."
Six police officers have been charged in connection with Gray's death and all pleaded not guilty.
The medical examiner said Gray's death was a homicide and not an accident because officers did not follow safety procedures "through acts of omission," the Sun reported.