Officers Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death, State’s Attorney Said Arrest Was Illegal

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says Freddie Gray received his critical injuries in Baltimore police custody and has charged all six officers involved in his death.

Derek Valcourt has more.

The city state’s attorney outlined where they say the officers went wrong from the moment they arrested Gray all the way to the time they took him out of the van and realized he wasn’t breathing.

On April 12, when 25-year-old Freddie Gray first made eye contact with a city police officer and ran away, officers chased him down and arrested him at 1700 Pressbury Street.

Bystanders then began recording the arrest, watching as Gray was placed in the police van. The prosecutor faults the three arresting officers for not properly restraining or seatbelting Gray in the van, calling his arrest illegal to begin with.

“Lt. Rice, Officer Nero and Officer Miller failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray,” Mosby said.

The van made its first stop at Baker Street, where Gray was removed, put in flex cuffs and leg shackles and, again, not properly restrained. It is here prosecutors believe he was injured.

“Following transport from Baker’s Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being restrained, handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained by his feet inside the Baltimore Police Department wagon,” she said.

That van stopped again at the intersection of Mosher and Freemont Street. The driver got out and observed Gray, but gave him no medical aid—and Gray still wasn’t in a seatbelt. The van made a third stop at Dolphin and Druid Hill Street, where Gray said he couldn’t breathe and asked twice for medical attention.

“However, despite Mr. Gray’s request for a medic, both officers assessed Mr. Gray’s condition. At no point did they restrain Mr. Gray per BPD general order, nor did they render or request medical attention,” she said.

The van then headed to North Avenue and Pennsylvania, where it stops to pick up Donta Allen. At that time, Gray was already unresponsive, according to Mosby. The officers did not get him medical help; he was still not properly secured in the van. Finally, the van drove to the Western District Police Station, where officers first removed the other prisoner from the van, before realizing that Gray had stopped breathing and was now in cardiac arrest.

WATCH MOSBY’S STATEMENT

“The findings of our comprehensive, thorough, and independent investigation coupled with the ME’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Mosby said.

She charged all six officers in the death of Gray and said his arrest was illegal.

Mosby described the morning’s event:

She said Lt. Brian W. Rice along with Officer Garret Miller & Officer Edward M. Nero were on bike patrol when they made eye contact with Gray. Gray ran from Rice and Rice dispatched he was involved in a foot pursuit. Other officers got involved.

Gray surrendered to Miller and Nero and the officer handcuffed him behind his back, Mosby said. Gray asked for an inhaler because he “could not breathe,” but the officers did not get him medical attention.

They found a knife clipped inside his pants packet — the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law, she said.

The officers then restrained Gray in a “leg lace,” and held him down until the transport van arrived, while he “flailed and screamed.”

The officers failed to find probable cause for Gray’s arrest, Mosby said. When the police transport van arrived, he was placed into the wagon driven by Officer Caesar B. Goodson, but without a seatbelt.

“At no point was he secured by a seatbelt while in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order,” she added. “Despite stopping for the purpose of checking on Mr. Gray’s condition, at no point did he seek nor render any medical assistance for Mr. Gray.”

Gray was then removed from the wagon at Baker Street, places flex cuffs on his wrists and leg shackles on his ankles — while they completed paperwork. He was then placed back into the wagon’s floor head first and stomach down — without a seatbelt.

“Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon,” Mosby said.

After leaving Baker Street, the officers stopped again to check on Gray’s condition, but they did not seek medical attention for Gray. Again, Goodson drove off without buckling Gray into the van.

The van stopped once again, this time Officer William G. Porter met up with Goodson and checked on gray. Gray asked for medical attention stating he couldn’t breathe. Porter asked Gray if he needed a medic and although Gray insisted he did, the officers allegedly placed him back on the bench and decided he did not need a medic.

Then Porter left to assist with another arrest on West North avenue and Goodson shortly followed with Gray in the back of the police van to help transport another suspect. When they arrived at that located they Sgt. Alicia White, Goodson and Porter saw Gray was unresponsive on the floor of the back of the wagon.

White spoke to the back of Gray’s head and was advised he needed a medic, but Mosby said she made no effort to determine his condition.

The officer did not get Gray medical attention until they returned to the Western District station.

Mosby said the officers are being charged with a number of counts of manslaughter, assault and misconduct. One officer will even be charged with a count of murder.

  • Officer Caeser B. Goodson, Jr. was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of manslaughter by vehicle and misconduct in office.
  • Officer William G. Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
  • Lt. Brian W. Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
  • Officer Edward M. Nero charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
  • Officer Garret Miller charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
  • Sgt. Alicia White involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

 

“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Mosby added.

The officers could face up to 20 years in prison for the charges. The driver — Goodson — could face up to 63 years in prison. They are expected to turn themselves in later today.

As groups take to the streets of Baltimore to celebrate the news, several officials reacted to the findings.

The Baltimore Police Fraternal Order of Police No. 3 issued a letter to Mosby Friday morning on behalf of the officers involved saying that the death was not the officers’ faults and they also requested a special prosecutor citing conflicts of interest with Mosby’s office.

“Each of the officers involved is sincerely saddened by Gray’s passing. They are all committed police officers who have dedicated their careers to the Baltimore City Police Department,” the letter states, “And that has been lost in all the publicity.”

“All death is tragic,” the FOP states. “And death associated with interaction with police is both shocking and frightening to the public.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings reacted to the charges filed against the officers in a press conference Friday afternoon.

“Let the wheels of justice roll, and it’s good that they are rolling, instead of standing still,” Cummings said. “”One of things that I’m determined to do and I’m hoping we’re able to do is make Baltimore a model for the nation.”

Gov. Larry Hogan who has been working from Baltimore this week due to the state of emergency also commented on Mosby’s findings:

“We finally get the process moving forward, but it’s a process. The criminal justice system is gonna work it’s way through, we believe in the criminal justice system. It’s just one component of what’s going on down here. There’s the Freddie Gray case, there’s the safety of the people of Baltimore, and then there’s the longer term issues,” Hogan said. “My role in the process is to try to keep folks safe.” … “I know emotions are running high. We want to keep the peace, keep the calm. We’ve got a lot folks out there demonstrating tonight and tomorrow and we want to continue to have the kind of success we’ve had over the past three days of keeping people calm.”

Hogan said he doesn’t have a timeline for when curfew will be lifted.

And, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who has received criticism for her handling of the Baltimore riots on Monday — also discussed the case.

“No one in our city is above the law,” Rawlings-Blake said. ” Justice must apply to all of us equally.”

READ THE ENTIRE LETTER: Letter to SA Mosby

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