Baltimore prosecutors dropped charges against the three remaining officers facing trial in association with Freddie Gray’s death.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man died after obtaining a neck injury while he had been in police custody in April 2015. During his arrest, he was placed in the back of a police van while in shackles, but his seatbelt was not buckled. He obtained a severe spinal injury during the ride. The van made stops before arriving at the police station; by the time it arrived at the police station, Gray’s neck was broken and compressed. He died one week later, on April 19, 2015.
Gray’s death became a focal point in the discussion about how African Americans are treated by police officers in the United States. His death sparked protests in Baltimore as well as around the country, garnering support and attention for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Three of the six officers involved in the case, Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson, and Brian Rice, had previously been acquitted. A pretrial hearing for Officer Garrett Miller was scheduled for Wednesday; trials for Officer Alicia White and William Porter were set to occur in the fall. Baltimore Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow requested the charges against them be dropped in court on Wednesday.
After charges were dropped against the three officers on Wednesday, Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan stated: “Justice has been done,” calling Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s comments about police officers were “outrageous.”
Last year, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby read the charges against the officers on Baltimore’s courthouse steps. These charges included second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter and second-degree assault. On Wednesday, she said it was “agonizing” not to move forward with the remaining trials, adding that the case showed “an inherent bias that is a direct result of when police police themselves.”
Gray’s mother, Gloria Darden, stood by Mosby, saying police “lied, I know they lied, and they killed him.”
“There were individual police officers that were witnesses to the case, yet were part of the investigation team, interrogations that were conducted without asking the most poignant questions, lead detectives that were completely uncooperative and started a counter-investigation to disprove the state’s case,” said Mosby.
“I’m anti-police brutality. And I need not remind you that the only loss—and the greatest loss—in all of this was that of Freddie Gray’s life.”