Shannise Boyd felt a shiver the moment she saw Freddie Gray’s picture on the news last week. Tubes and wires protruded from Gray’s 25-year-old body as he clung to life in a Baltimore hospital bed. Days before, he suffered a severed spinal cord while in police custody, an incident that remains under investigation. He died on Sunday, April 19.
For Boyd, the scene and circumstances surrounding Gray’s injury were strikingly familiar. Nearly 20 years before, Jeffrey Adrian Alston–with whom Boyd had a daughter–wound up with a broken neck during an encounter with the Baltimore police, leaving him a quadriplegic.