Nearly two weeks after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died, after suffering severe injuries while in police custody, six Baltimore police officers have been charged in the case. According to the Baltimore Sun, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the charges on Friday morning (May 1), saying that she told Gray's family, "no one is above the law."
Mosby also noted that an investigation had determined that Gray was improperly arrested on April 12 because officers had no probable cause to detain him. Warrants were issued for the arrest of all six officers on Friday morning, and a few hours later the AP reported that all six were in custody and all were ordered suspended from the force. The Maryland State Medical Examiner deemed the manner of death in the case a homicide.
The Charges In The Freddie Gray Case Are:
-- Police van driver Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45: second-degree depraved heart murder, second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, two charges of vehicular manslaughter and misconduct in office.
-- Officer William Porter, 25, Lt. Brian Rice, 41 and Sgt. Alicia White, 30: involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and other charges.
-- Officer Edward Nero, 29 and Officer Garrett Miller, 26: second-degree assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.
If convicted of all charges, Goodson could face up to 63 years in prison, Rice could face up to 30 years in prison and the other officers up to 20 years.
Gray was chased down by police last month after officers said he made eye contact with them in an area known for drug activity. His family has claimed that he suffered a spinal cord injury and crushed voice box while in police custody. A video shot by a bystander showed officers handcuffing Gray and dragging him to his feet as he screamed while being loaded into a police van.
He was later found unconscious in the van when the vehicle arrived at the police station after making several stops -- including one previously undisclosed one. During the ride, Gray reportedly asked for medical attention a number of times to no avail. Mosby said Gray suffered a "severe and critical neck injury" as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by the feet and transported without a seatbelt while in the van.
Differing accounts of what happened in that van have surfaced over the past few days, with the Washington Post reporting on Wednesday that a fellow prisoner in the van said it appeared Gray was trying to hurt himself. That man, Donta Allen, refuted those claims on Thursday, saying he never said Gray was trying to kill himself.
"And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to [himself]," Allen told WJZ. "Why the [expletive] would he do that to [himself]?"
Mosby said after officers cuffed and shackled Gray; they left him stomach-down on the floor of the transport vehicle, placing him in the van and checking on him at least five times without securing him as required by police procedure. When they arrived at the Western District police station, Gray was not breathing and was in cardiac arrest; he died a week later on April 19.
Hours after Gray was laid to rest on Monday, April 27, protesters took to the streets of Baltimore to vent their frustration. A number of them -- mostly young people -- rioted, looting and setting fire to local businesses and attacking police officers with bottles and rocks. More than 200 arrests were made.
Just before the charges were announced, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police posted an open letter to Mosby saying all the officers were "sincerely saddened" by Gray's passing but that "none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray. To the contrary," they wrote, "at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect Mr. Gray and discharge their duties to protect the public." (The FOP asked for an independent prosecutor in the case, citing Mosby's ties to the Gray family attorney.)
After four days of tension on the streets of Baltimore, Mosby called for calm from the public. Demonstrations were already scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday before Mosby's announcement.