All Charges Dropped Against Officers Involved In Freddie Gray Death Trial

Photo: Jose Luis Magana/ AP Photo.
Update: All charges have been dropped against the three remaining officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges marks the end of the case, which saw six officers charged over the death. Gray, a Black man, died in April of 2015 after being arrested in Baltimore, MD. His fatal injury while in police custody sparked protests and demonstrations around the city and helped heighten the profile of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Three out of the four officers who had already been tried were acquitted on all counts, with the final case ending in a mistrial. The fifth trial in the case, that of officer Garrett Miller, had been scheduled to begin today.

Update: July 18, 2016:
The most senior police officer charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray has been found not guilty of all charges, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Lt. Brian Rice had been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. It was alleged by prosecutors that Rice had caused Gray's death last year by failing to fasten him in a seat belt in the back of the police van, where he suffered severe spinal cord injuries.

Rice was one of the six officers charged in connection with the death of the 25-year-old, who died a week after his arrest.

Two other trials that were heard by U.S. Circuit Judge Barry Williams ended in acquittals, according to The Sun. A third was found to be a mistrial after a hung jury, and the remaining two officers facing charges will stand trial later this year.

Update: June 23, 2016:
Police Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. has been found not guilty in all charges in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
Officer Goodson, the driver of the van where Gray received his fatal injury, was acquitted of manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment, and “depraved-heart” murder. Goodson was the only one of the six officers involved in Gray’s death to be charged with murder.

Goodson is the third of the six officers charged in the case to be tried. Previously, Officer Edward Nero was also acquitted of all charges, while Officer William Porter’s case ended in a mistrial. Porter, as well as the remaining three officers, have trials scheduled for summer and fall of this year.

Update: May 23, 2016:
A Baltimore officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray has been found not guilty on all counts, The Associated Press reports.

Officer Edward Nero is one of six officers charged in the April 2015 death of Gray, who died after he was injured while riding in the back of a police van. The charges against Nero were reckless endangerment, misconduct, and assault. A judge delivered the not guilty verdict Monday morning.

An earlier trial for another officer charged in Gray's death ended in a hung jury.

The following story was published on December 16, 2015.

The Associated Press reports that the trial of an officer charged with manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray has ended with a hung jury.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams said today that jurors in the trial had announced a deadlock. The Baltimore police officer, William Porter, is the first of six officers to stand trial for the death of Gray, which occurred while Gray was in police custody. Officer Porter was charged with manslaughter for neglecting to buckle Gray into the police van after his arrest, and neglecting to call an ambulance after Gray was injured. An autopsy found that Gray died as a result of a spinal injury, likely incurred after slamming into the inside of the van when it turned a corner or stopped. Gray’s April 2015 death while in police custody prompted weeks of protests in Baltimore. Protesters accused the police of excessive force, and demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement helped spur the case into greater prominence.

The jurors deliberated for three days before telling the judge they were unable to reach a decision. The AP reports that Judge Williams told the jurors they had “clearly been diligent” in their deliberations. There is as of yet no news on a retrial.

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