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Homicide Charges in Freddie Gray Death

Homicide Charges in Freddie Gray Death

Six Officers charged.

The NY Times reports:

Baltimore prosecutors, in an unexpected announcement, said Friday they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.

In a news conference, the state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. Time and again, she said, police officers mistreated him, arresting him without grounds and violating police procedure by putting him in handcuffs and leg restraints in the van without putting a seatbelt him.

Ms. Mosby also said the officers had repeatedly failed to seek medical attention for Mr. Gray after he was injured. By the time he was removed from the van, she said, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.”

The death, Ms. Mosby said, is believed to be the result of an injury Mr. Gray sustained while riding in the van without a seatbelt.

ABC News further reports on details of the charges:

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the chief prosecutor for Baltimore, announced this morning that her office has also found probable cause to pursue criminal charges in connection to the case.

Mosby announced a series of charges now facing the six police officers involved in putting Gray in custody and transporting him in the police wagon on the morning of April 12. The charges vary for each individual, but include several counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and false imprisonment among others. The most serious charge she listed was second-degree depraved heart murder, which only one officer faces. A warrant has been issued for the police officer’s arrest, Mosby said….

Mosby detailed the findings of her office’s independent investigation into Gray’s apprehension, and she detailed how officers repeatedly ignored Gray’s pleas for help and that officers bound his arms behind his back and put his legs in clamps but did not secure him within the police wagon with a seat belt, which is a violation of Baltimore police policy.

One of the biggest findings that Mosby announced was that the decision to take Gray into custody in the first place was unwarranted because the knife that he had is allowed under Baltimore laws. While the knife was able to fold, it was not a switchblade.

Mosby urged calm in the wake of the charges, speaking directly to protesters at the end of her news conference.

“I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ However your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray,” she said.

The Baltimore Sun details the charges by officer:

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.

Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

Updates to follow


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They are about to learn about both “No Justice” and “No Peace”…

When the cops are afraid to do their job…which is enforce the laws of their jurisdiction, following the policies of their agency, there will be neither justice or peace on a much larger scale than these SJWs imagine.

    great unknown in reply to MJN1957. | May 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

    But when cops are allowed to violate official police procedure, and the law, then all will be peaceful, with little butterflies gliding around to the music of chirping birdies.

    Perhaps, then, the only way to keep the peace is via criminal behavior by LEOs.

    Rick in reply to MJN1957. | May 1, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Even from a pro-police point of view, I can’t say that I’m sure the police followed all of the policies of their agency. Being cuffed but not restrained, if true, seems problematic to me, but I am unschooled regarding police procedures.

      casualobserver in reply to Rick. | May 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I’m not a LEO expert, but it seems as if there are a number of irregular actions on the part of the police here. The most serious may be the fact that they didn’t seek medical attention according to policy. Or so I see it reported.

    When the cops are afraid to do their job…which is enforce the laws of their jurisdiction, following the policies of their agency

    It doesn’t appear that these particular cops were either enforcing the laws of their jurisdiction, or following the policies of their agency.

    To borrow an expression, “Why would any other cops be afraid of being prosecuted, if they’re not doing anything wrong?” People who aren’t doing anything wrong aren’t supposed to have anything to fear from the law, are they?

Justice for Freddie Gray” is just shorthand for saying the facts be da**ed let’s lynch the bas****s.

    A bit over-dramatic. At least the cops are going to get their day in court… a privilege not extended to Mr. Gray.

      redc1c4 in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      from his record, Freddy had *many* days in court previously…

      unfortunately for him, he was too stupid to learn from them, and continued to break the law.

      play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        He wasn’t breaking the law the day he was killed.

          healthguyfsu in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

          Funny, I don’t see how you can be sure about that. Why run if you’ve done nothing wrong? Expecting law enforcement to see someone flee and just saw “eff it. let’s go get donuts and let him get away with whatever criminal activity prompted his flight.”

          udeda in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 3:08 pm

          Fleeing from Police is against the law. The young man would be alive today if someone would have taught him to respect authority…instead of the exact opposite.

          Land of the free enslaved and home of the brave authoritah?

          udeda in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm

          You seem to be some kind of SJW. Again, had the young respected the authority of the Police, he would be alive. It’s called civilization. You are on the side of anarchy.

          healthguyfsu in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 4:51 pm

          Apparently, they are going to need to switch full contact tackle suspect pursuit to a game of flag suspect pursuit.

          Suspects, please comply with these new rules and wear your flags or else…you also have to stop when your flag is pulled OR ELSE

          Should work about as well as gun control

          Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm

          Udeda, I don’t know what dictatorship you live in, but in the USA it is not against the law to run from the police, and we are not required to respect them or their authoritah. We do not bend the knee.

          I’m sorry, y’all, but it’s just that every time I read yet another blog commenter self-righteously announce that this, that or the other petty criminal deserved to be killed for the apparent capital offense of “Failing To Respect The Authoritah”, I can’t help but hear it in Cartman’s voice. Blame Matt Groening! 😀

          Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 6:43 pm

          You mean Matt Stone. And Trey Parker.

          Yikes, mea culpa, Milhouse!

          Sammy Finkelman in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

          But he thought he was breaking the law. Both he and the cops made the same mistake. It turned out that brand of knife does not fit the legal definition of “SWITCHBLADE”

          Unless he was also afraid of an arrest for poessession of marijuana.

Sounds like this prosecutor is going to court with all she can muster. Maybe some of it sticks with the right jury. Cops in Baltimore will likely respond by not responding or most likely resign and relocate. They will see it as a vendetta against them. The parts of the city that are responsible for the most 911 calls may begin to see the results of this prosecutor’s “go for broke”.

    I think that even if six officers did misbehave in the incident, the good cops in Baltimore have much to be angry about regarding their orders during the evolving riot. It’s a matter of law that police officers have no specific responsibility to keep a particular person from being mugged or even murdered. However, keeping a city from burning is very much their core responsibility, their very reason for existing.

      The good law-abiding tax-paying residents in Baltimore have much to be angry about as well. Not only are the police they pay to protect them being told to stand down by the Mayor they pay to run things; they’ve already been on the hook as taxpayers for millions of dollars of payouts to citizens found to have been abused by the bad cops they’re also paying; and now look like being on the hook for yet one more settlement. Plus they get to foot the legal bills for all these bad cops.

      This is why “flight” happens. Not “white flight” per se, but “middle class/working class flight”. “Flight of people who have enough resources to get themselves out of there”. If that includes some of the good police who’ve had nothing to do with any of this type of abuse, I wouldn’t be surprised.

      casualobserver in reply to JBourque. | May 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Are you suggesting that officers who violated policy and procedure that lead to a death shouldn’t be prosecuted for fear of its impact on other officers? I say if there are some bad apples the good apples are MUCH better off by having the bad culled out.

        I’m with you on this. Not everyone will be, but eh, if the facts support the charges, that’s a different story. Unfortunately there’s a lot of chaff thrown up, and the AG has done her share of the throwing.

I think this new situation begs the question, what did they have against Mr. Gray? It’s highly unlikely the cops meant for him to actually die, but if the investigators could not find (by now) any legitimate above-board law enforcement reason to ‘rough him up’, what about an illegitimate below-board one? He was probably well known to at least the senior officer involved, yes? I feel like this wasn’t a random pick-up. Maybe we’ll never know.

    Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | May 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    It was certainly not random. He was well known to the police, so when he ran they were sure he was hiding something. And perhaps he was, and managed to ditch it; but perhaps he simply didn’t feel like being hassled that day.

Sammy Finkelman | May 1, 2015 at 11:55 am

Just not giving him medical attention (perhaps because they didn’t believe him) and not buckling him in might be enough to convict on most of those charges.

The most serious charges were against the driver. That sounds like suspicion he deliberately drove badly, or else a claim that the driver is most responsible for the fact of the van being driven without Freddie Gray being buckled in, and maybe for continuing to drive without getting an ambulance.

Furthermore, the indictment says, possessing the knife was legal, not being covered under (an old?) Baltimore law.

There’s been some much pressure brought to bear you probably can’t trust the medical examiner.

Baltimore needs SLC’s DA who tortured the evidence and went to excruciating extremes in order to defend a police officer who murdered a man that he believed was likely reaching to his pocket in order to draw a probable gun that turned out to be an “planned” (i.e. fictitious) baby.

It’s an interesting journey into the creation and propagation of political narratives to observe which stories make the national headlines while others are squelched and even shamed into obscurity.

Henry Hawkins | May 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Perhaps our nation’s larger cities need to hold referendums to vote on whether they should simply disband local law enforcement altogether.

Valid or not, this will be perceived as showing the riots as successful…

I would quit if I were a cop anywhere. Let the cities patrol themselves.

tarheelkate | May 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I’m interested in the intersection between the statement that Gray should not have been arrested and Andrew Branca’s prior post. Is this prosecutor violating Terry standards?

I can see negligence but not, offhand, second-degree murder.

    The state of “knife rights” varies tremendously state to state. The problem is, they frisked him and he had a knife, but the knife was legal. You can say a rookie can make a legitimate mistake about what’s Baltimore law about knives, but with so many officers involved, for the senior officer to be ignorant of this is harder to believe. It’s going to be a factor. As I commented earlier, it sounds like a paper thin justification to pick up someone they wanted to pick up for.. some reason that we are not privy to.

      It’s not all that unusual for people in blue cities to be arrested and even prosecuted for carrying knives which aren’t, in fact, illegal. Luckily, most of these victims of police and prosecutorial abuse live to tell the tale.

        siguiriya in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        Some of the assisted-opening knives could easily be mistaken for switchblades by someone not familiar with the fine points of the law. Police should know the law, but I once heard a deputy sheriff offer a completely wrong explanation of the knife-related laws in my state.

      Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | May 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Curious about the knee-jerking to invest credibility in the prosecutor’s statements.

      Why? Anybody beside me waiting to see some exposition on this LEGAL claim, and the…you know…knife?

        Others might be equally curious about the knee-jerking to invest credibility in the cops’ statements. Cops have been known to be mistaken, or to just flat-out lie; prosecutors have been known to be mistaken, or to just flat-out lie. And when it comes to judging the legality/illegality of knives, as my link above shows, both have been known to have been just flat-out wrong.

        It will be interesting to see who’s telling the truth here, anyway.

        Homicide had 30 detectives on the case. Even if the prosecutor is a complete idiot, that’s a lot of eyes and brains with access to that knife. If they all missed that the knife is, in fact, illegal, it’s not impossible, but it does beggar belief.

        And I can’t say EVERY comment that we don’t know all the facts. It’s bad writing. But we don’t know all the facts. That leads me to think that the facts we don’t know have some importance.

          Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | May 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm

          You ASSume…

          1. the detectives agree with the prosecutor’s statement, and

          2. ANY detective has examined the knife.

          Please support your ASSSSSSSumptions.

    Gunstar1 in reply to tarheelkate. | May 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    This would only change the very end of Branca’s post about Terry stops.

    It is still true that they had the power to stop Grey based on his running and history giving rise to RAS for a Terry Stop. Patting him down and finding a knife would also be ok.

    At this point is the change from Branca’s post. Branca relied on the police’s charging statement that the knife was contraband which is what formed probable cause for arrest. The prosecutor is saying the knife was not contraband and therefore is not PC for arrest.

All of this posturing is just for one thing…the federalization of local police forces.

No mention of Mosby’s conflicts of interest? Her husband in a Baltimore councilman who encouraged the riots and the Gray family’s attorney donated $5,000 to her campaign…

legalbeagle | May 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

On the surface, the vehicular homicide charge against Officer Goodson seems logically inconsistent with involuntary manslaughter charges against Rice and White. It can only be based on the tenuous theory that involuntarily manslaughter occurred because the failed to secure the prisoner with a seatbelt.

The poorest excuse for a prosecutor since whats-his-face in the Duke lacrosse case.

She just gave the defense a serious shot at a change-of-venue. I would add that it is likely that a fair jury could not be impaneled, venue change or not. Most critical is where is the evidence of intention? Murder is not a negligence crime.

Any cop that goes to work in Baltimore after this lacks a well-developed sense of self-preservation.

Obama says it is “absolutely vital that the truth comes out” …

Of course, he’s not talking about the truths of how he has a CT SSN, his draft card, his matriculation at Columbia where even the Dept. Chair doesn’t remember him, etc. These truths don’t matter.

    Milhouse in reply to walls. | May 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Um, that’s all long-exploded nonsense. His SSN is easily explained by a mistake transcribing his ZIP code. His draft card is public information, and there’s no reason why a college dept chair would remember every student.

      Eskyman in reply to Milhouse. | May 1, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Yah, Milhouse- “that’s all long-exploded nonsense”. Gee, I’d sure like to have a look at some links to where this was exploded.

      I’m sure you’ve got lots of links handy, so just throw ’em out there! You can give me all you want, I just love reading exploded nonsense about that guy in the WH!

Sounds like a politically driven prosecution. If I was a defense attorney, I’d request all correspondence/phone records between the State’s Attorney, the Mayor, the City Council, and the White House.

    heyjoojoo in reply to MikeInCA. | May 1, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Yes, excellent point.

    More importantly, this hasn’t done anything good for the police and their relationship with blacks. So unfortunate.

Amy in FL writes:

“To borrow an expression, “Why would any other cops be afraid of being prosecuted, if they’re not doing anything wrong?” People who aren’t doing anything wrong aren’t supposed to have anything to fear from the law, are they?”

OK – So why did Gray run from the police after just making eye contact? If he was just an innocent guy walking down the street who had done nothing wrong, he would have nothing to fear.


    Exactly. That’s what everyone always says in defense of a police state, that those who have done nothing wrong should have nothing to fear.

    Someone’s going to argue that he feared being picked up for a legal knife. I’m not that person. Apparently Gray was well known to the cops, and probably the individual cops were well known to Gray.

    I would love to know why Gray feared these particular cops. I don’t have much confidence we’re going to ever find that out. That doesn’t make Gray a saint, far from it, but something seems to have gone awry.

pilgrim1949 | May 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Conviction + execution => Riot. Loot. Burn.
Conviction + life in prison => Riot. Loot. Burn.
Conviction + less than life in prison => Riot. Loot. Burn.
Conviction + no prison, but probation => Riot. Loot. Burn.
No conviction => Riot. Loot. Burn.

Hope that’s clear. Any questions?

    legacyrepublican in reply to pilgrim1949. | May 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    If they are not convicted by the state, then expect there to be a federal civil rights criminal case filed against them.

    I saw it happen in CA with the Rodney King case.

    But, you are right, it is going to be a variation of burn, riot, and loot. That seems to be their answer for everything.

    And if someone thinks that is racist, then show me video of the whites who burn, riot, and loot Baltimore after the cops are convicted and I will apologize.

    walls in reply to pilgrim1949. | May 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    LOL! No questions at all. Thanks for a refreshingly honest analysis.

MightySlim | May 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

To punish Mr. Gray for making them chase him, the cops decided to give him a “rough ride.” They handcuffed Gray’s has behind his back and shackled his legs and then laid him on his belly on the floor of the van so he could slide around and get hurt, all the while ignoring his pleas for medical assistance, and so he got banged up so bad during the ride that he died of his injuries. They only meant to rough him up a little, but did nothing to ensure that he would not be hurt seriously despite the obvious danger of that.

Sounds like criminal behavior to me.

    Ragspierre in reply to MightySlim. | May 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    And you know ANY of that how…???

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Exactly. All of that is possible, but where’s the evidence?

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Ragspierre. | May 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      This is one of the narratives that we have seen from the first. Maybe surprising that it came out so early…. The more recent narrative being that the victim was trying to injure himself while in custody (to embarrass the cops? to get a settlement?) This narrative is something that cops have been known to do. Or, at least similar things to teach respect. I find it credible, but not yet compelling. Of course, the state prosecutor has a lot more information than we do, so it may indeed be a good call. We just don’t know yet, and likely won’t for quite some time.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to MightySlim. | May 1, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Mrs. Cleo is that you?!

I am soooo looking forward to another two years of a Trayvon Martin-type, racially divisive court case.

    For what it’s worth, the driver, the one who’s facing the most charges, looks like he’s probably black himself. But it shouldn’t be about race anyway. It should be about whether these Baltimore police abused their power and caused the unlawful death of a citizen. Police abusing their power and causing unnecessary death and injury to citizens is something concerning to many of us, white and black alike.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Amy in FL. | May 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      As of about 1 pm EDT, Rush Limbaugh noted that npbody seemed to know the races of the policemen. That had not been released.

      Were they afraid that giving the heavisest charge to a black policeman would make the mobs feel that justiuce wasn’t being done – better let them think all the policemen were white.

Ragspierre | May 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

We don’t have thugs in Baltimore.
—The Mayor Of Baltimore.

OK, then. She said it. So it must be true.

Bruce Hayden | May 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm

This is an example of the Blue State model breaking down. There are two competing Dem party constituent groups, the government employees (i.e. the police and their union) and poor Blacks. In the short run, it is probably politically safer to go with the poor blacks. But, not giving the police the support that they need is likely to have a lot of adverse long term effects on their policing, crime, and the state of the community.

Right now, it looks like the prosecutor may have a case, but that she has gone off and made a political decision to indict the six cops. It esp. looks bad that her husband was essentially advocating for indictments. If she indicted for political reasons, it may end up like we saw with Florida State Attorney Angela Corey and her prosecution (without evidence) of George Zimmerman for his slaying of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s life was greatly harmed by Corey’s actions. This could be worse, if the prosecutor doesn’t have the facts on her side, with the police then viewing her office, and that of the mayor, etc. as being against them. They just have to act as good little government employees, following all the rules to a T, to greatly decrease the safety of Baltimore.

    Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I disagree to this extent…

    It isn’t “the poor blacks”. It is the agendized, racists among blacks. And those come in LOTS of different stripes.

    The city elite in Baltimore are among those.

    “If, with the nation watching, three black women at three different levels can’t get justice and healing for this community, you tell me where we’re going to get it in our country,” she [the mayor] asked, referring to herself, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

    It takes no imagination to know what the reaction would be if that statement were, “If three white men can’t get justice and healing for this community…”.