Disciplinary Trial Begins For Van Driver In Freddie Gray Case

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Acquitted by the court, now answering to their own department. The first of five officers to potentially face internal discipline for his role in the Freddie Gray case began his administrative trial Monday.

WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten was there for hours of arguments.

Officer Caesar Goodson is the first of five to come up for administrative trial.

He drove the van where Freddie Gray was fatally injured, and could now lose his badge.

Trading a blue uniform for a brown suit, Goodson sat in a University of Baltimore hall, where a panel of officers will decide if he gets to keep his job.

Hinging on whether or not he violated police policy and procedure while driving the van in which Freddie Gray would suffer deadly neck injuries back in April 2015.

During the first day of the trial, prosecutors played hours of video that showed internal affairs investigators questioning Goodson.

Investigator: Did you in any way give Freddie Gray a rough ride?

Goodson: No.

Investigator: Did you have any intent for Freddie Gray to sustain injuries that day?

Goodson: No.

Prosecutors argue he had a duty to put a seat belt on Gray, or him into the van, and that Goodson failed to fully document stops between where he picked up Gray, and the police precinct.

One of dozens of rules he’s accused of breaking.

His defense says that back when this happened, there was nothing in police policy about how to handle a combative prisoner.

University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros gave us his thoughts after watching Monday’s arguments.

“There are a number of policies at play here,” Jaros said. “I think one of the issues will not only be, was there a policy violated, but what is the significance of the failure.”

Goodson is a 16-year veteran of the police force.

His trial is expected to go through the beginning of next week because of the huge amounts of evidence involved in the case.

If the panel decides that Goodson broke department policy, it’s up to the police commissioner to determine his punishment.

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