A Baltimore grand jury on Thursday, indicted all six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, announced by Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby during a news conference. She did not answer any questions from the media. Mosby moves ahead with the most serious charges despite critics saying she was part of an overzealous prosecution.The officers who are free on bail, are scheduled for arraignment July 2.
Freddie Gray died April 19, after suffering a severe spinal injury during his arrest on a local Baltimore street. He was handcuffed, face down, in the wagon and not secured while being transported, Mosby said. His death triggered several days of protests and some violence, which resulted in a citywide curfew. Dozens of people were arrested and several police officers were injured. The charges are identical to those announced by Mosby three weeks ago, which include the most serious charge of second-degree murder against the van driver. After the discovery of additional information, the grand jury added counts of reckless-endangerment against some officers and dropped false imprisonment and assault against others.
Two weeks ago, the six officers filed a motion to dismiss the charges or have Mosby step aside because of what lawyers called her political and personal motivation. United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered an independent federal investigation of Gray’s death. She pledged support for the city’s embattled police department. Mosby said prosecutors presented evidence to the grand jury for the past two weeks. Some of the charges were changed based on new information, but she didn’t say what that was. She also did not take questions. “As is often the case, during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” Mosby said.
Gray’s death aided in the continued police brutality against African-Americans narrative. Two officers, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, were indicted on second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office for “failure to perform a duty regarding the safety of a prisoner” and for an illegal arrest, Mosby said. After a ride that included two more stops, including one to pick up a second passenger, the van arrived at the Western District police station. By that time, Gray was non-responsive. The breakdown of the grand jury’s actions are the following:
- Goodson — In addition to murder, he was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, gross negligence vehicular manslaughter, criminal negligence and misconduct in office. One count of reckless endangerment was added.
- Lt. Brian W. Rice, the bike patrol officer who first chased Gray — Manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Second-degree assault and false imprisonment charges were dropped.
- Officer William Porter, who Mosby said asked Gray at one van stop if he needed medical attention — Manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, a new charge.
- Sgt. Alicia D. White, one of three officers who found Gray unresponsive on the floor of the police wagon — Manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, a new charge.
- Officer Garrett E. Miller, who chased Gray — Second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Charges of second-degree assault and false imprisonment were dropped.
- Officer Edward M. Nero was charged with second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Second-degree assault and false imprisonment charges were dropped.
In a statement after the officers’ indictments, the police union called for the community to support police, noting that thousands of men and women in the department protect and serve the city’s neighborhoods. Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan emphasized that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty, including the six officers involved.