Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide; six Baltimore officers charged
By Michael Walsh – May 1, 2015 Yahoo News
Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday morning that several officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray will face homicide charges.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” she said.
Six Baltimore police officers have been criminally charged: Officer Caesar Goodson, Officer William Porter, Lt. Brian Rice, Officer Edward Nero, Officer Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White.
The charges, which vary for each person, include — second-degree murder, manslaughter, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Goodson faces second-degree depraved heart murder, which indicates a “callous disregard for the value of human life.”
She shared that both of her parents, several of her aunts and uncles and her late grandfather were all cops.
“The actions of these officers will not and should not in any way damage the important working relationships between police and prosecutors,” she said, “as we continue to fight together to reduce crime in Baltimore.”
Mosby says that Gray was illegally arrested and that the police involved did not establish probable cause.
Though what she revealed is now a matter of public record, much of the evidence will be withheld to ensure a “fair and impartial process for all parties involved.”
As the public waits for more information, details from the investigation have slowly begun trickling out.
According to multiple reports, the medical examiner found that Gray’s head struck a bolt that jutted out in the back of the police van.
A law enforcement official told the Washington Post that this was not the 25-year-old man’s only injury, and that his wounds were consistent with those generally seen in car crashes.
Multiple police sources told WJLA that the head wound corresponds with a bolt in the back of the vehicle, and that the impact broke Gray’s neck.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blow while he was in custody, according to the sources.
The investigation did not uncover evidence connecting the videotaped portion of his arrest — which helped to spur protest and riots in the streets of Baltimore — with the young man’s death, according to the local ABC affiliate.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference Thursday that the results were turned over to Mosby one day before a deadline he established.
“I set a date to get this done,” he said. “I was communicating clearly; I wanted a sense of urgency on this case to get the results out there. We dedicated 30 detectives, their full-time job was focused on this case and only this case.”
Many protesters are anxious to hear what the detectives uncovered — especially amid claims by his family’s lawyer, Billy Murphy, that his spine had been “80 percent severed.”
On April 12, the officers picked up a prisoner during the roughly 40-minute drive to the police station; Gray was unresponsive upon arrival.
The Washington Post reported that the prisoner, who could not see Gray because they were separated by a metal partition, thought that the young man “was intentionally trying to injure himself” by “banging against the walls.”
The D.C. paper found this account in an application for a search warrant that had been sealed by the court. Authorities were reportedly seeking the uniform one of the arresting officers wore the day of Gray’s arrest.
But Donta Allen, who identified himself as the man in the van with Gray, told WJZ-TV that the report is inaccurate and that he just heard “a little banging.”
“And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to hisself [sic],” Allen said to the station. “Why the f— would he do that to hisself [sic]?”
Police revealed that the van made a stop on the way to the station that was not appropriately logged. Gray died in a hospital one week later.
A report from the Carroll County, Md., Sheriff’s Office, obtained by The Associated Press, indicates that one of the officers suspended following Gray’s death has had his mental stability called into question.
Lt. Brian Rice, the officer who initially pursued Gray, had been hospitalized in April 2012 over mental health concerns; at the time, he reportedly said he “could not continue to go on like this” and threatened to commit an act that was censored from the public version of the report.
Batts emphasized that the task force heeded his call and has exhausted every lead at this point in time, but that does not mean their investigation is over.
“The family and the community and the public deserve transparency and truth,” he said.