BREAKING: Two Baltimore police officers have been charged with assault, three with manslaughter and one with MURDER, in the April 19th death of Freddie Gray. This came as the Medical Examiner ruled his death to be a homicide.
After suffering spinal injuries while being transported in the back of a police van, Gray died on April 19th, sparking a series of peaceful protests that escalated into rioting and looting this past Monday.
State’s Attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, cheered as she announced that the police involved would be brought to justice. She said that the police had no basis for Gray’s arrest and described the “harrowing ride” Gray experienced while laying face down, shackled in the back of a police van; a van driven by Officer Caesar Goodson who been charged with 2nd-Degree Murder.
During the announcement, Ms. Mosby did not attempt to hide her apparent excitement over the charges against the officers.
“To those that are angry, hurt or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers, I urge you to channel the energy peacefully as we prosecute the case,”
Fox News reported that the Baltimore police union president told Ms. Mosby in a letter that none of the officers were responsible for Gray’s death.
“Not one of the officers involved in this tragic situation left home in the morning with the anticipation that someone with whom they interacted would not go home that night,” the letter states. “As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.”
Given Mosby’s obvious personal interest in the case, including a friendship with the Gray family’s lawyer, Mr. Billy Murphy – who contributed to her campaign – the union requested a special prosecutor for the case. Mr. Murphy donated $4,000 to Ms. Mosby’s campaign last June, the largest donation allowed to an individual.
The officers who were charged in Gray’s death are as follows:
– Goodson was charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, second-degree negligent assault, involuntary manslaughter, as well as other charges.
– Officer William Porter, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, and misconduct in office.
– Police Lt. Brian Rice, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault.
– Police Officer Alicia White, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.
– Police officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero , were charged with multiple counts of assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.
All but one of the officers are in custody, according to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Ralwings-Blake. Those of them facing felony charges have been suspended without pay.
Ms. Mosby said that her officer had found that the officers made eye contact with Gray – who has a long rap sheet for a number of crimes including drug violations – and Gray then ran from police.
After officers pursued him, Gray surrendered a short time later. Gray was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van. Thereafter, Gray was caused a disturbance, prompting officers to stop the vehicle and shackled his feet. It was then that Mosby claims Gray was injured as a result of being shackled and handcuffed in the back of the police van.
After officers stopped to pick up another un-related who had been arrested a number of blocks away, Officer White arrived to investigate citizen’s complaints about the initial arrest. She peered in on Gray, but made “no effort to access his condition”.
When the van arrived at the police station, Gray had gone into cardiac arrest. He was then rushed to an area medical center where he underwent surgery and later died.