Jubilation in Baltimore: Six police officers have been charged with crimes including murder and manslaughter

Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced this morning that she has charged six Baltimore police officers with crimes for the death of Freddie Gray, including second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.

Let’s break it down.

Mosby said Freddie Gray did not commit a crime and police did not have probable cause to arrest him for a crime. The knife they found in his pocked was not a switchblade knife, as reported by police. It was a closed fold-up knife that is legal to possess and carry. Therefore, the arrest was unlawful and his restraint constituted false imprisonment.

The second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and second degree assault charges are based on placing Gray in the back of the police van with his wrists handcuffed behind his back and his feet shackled together without protecting him from injury during the ‘rough ride’ that followed by buckling him into a seat with a seatbelt. He was no longer breathing when he was removed from the vehicle and the first medic who responded found him in cardiac arrest. He died one week later.

The cause of death was a fatal injury to his spinal cord while riding in the police van during the ‘rough ride.’

The Maryland State Medical Examiner concluded that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide.

Here is a list of the six officers and their charges:

1. Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., is the only one charged with second degree ‘depraved heart’ murder. He drove the police van in which Gray was riding. In fact, the vehicle is alleged to be the murder weapon. He is also charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence) and misconduct in office.

2. Officer William G. Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

3. Lieutenant Brian W. Rice is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

4. Officer Edward M. Nero is charged with second degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

5. Officer Garrett E. Miller is charged with second degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

6. Sergeant Alicia D. White is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

Warrants have been issued for the arrests of the six police officers. Five of them are in custody.

Marilyn Mosby is a 35-year-old black woman. She was elected State’s Attorney in November. Her mother and father were police officers. In fact, she is the latest of five generations of police officers in her family. She began her press conference stating, “I have heard your call for no justice, no peace.”

With the assistance of the Sheriff’s Department, her office conducted its own independent investigation. That was a good thing because a report filed yesterday in the district court by the Baltimore Police Department claiming that Gray possessed an illegal switchblade with an automatic spring was a lie. The statement that he was banging his head repeatedly in an attempt to hurt himself also is a lie.

Mosby rejected the police union’s request for an independent prosecutor.

Jubilation in Baltimore is spreading like wildfire.

33 Responses to Jubilation in Baltimore: Six police officers have been charged with crimes including murder and manslaughter

  1. Nef05 says:

    Recipe for disaster. Good ol’ boys of the open carry vigilante persuasion have begun to show up at peaceful protests (who are showing solidarity with B-more) with the mindset of “preventing” what happened in B-more and Ferguson to happen there.

    Good ol’ boys with open carry long guns, in the same area where agitators may cause a peaceful protest to turn into a non-peaceful protest. Do they have the right to fire on anyone looting or causing property damage? If so, are they not de facto law enforcement and by what authority? Who believes these yahoos actually know the laws pertaining to use of firearms in such a situation, or that they care? These fools see an opportunity to stroke their long guns in public and in the media, and should the situation escalate and one of these yahoos gets happy off of an adrenaline rush you know one of them is just waiting for an opportunity to shoot a “thug”.

    This is a Zimmerman posse-style. I got a bad feeling this is going to become a trend and someone is going to get hurt. If that happens, the legal ramifications are mind-boggling to me. Not that it will matter to the(no doubt) black person(s) who will be dead/badly injured. Will the police even try to catch them? Will prosecutors even “try” to prosecute them? Anyone doubt they would claim “self-defense” under SYG, since open carry is legal?

    Since we’ve already seen the “concrete” defense, anyone doubt that a protester even picking up a rock or bottle suddenly creates “fear for my life” in these guys? What happens when they miss and hit the wrong person in a crowd? Don’t mistake what I’m saying. I’m NOT in favor of rioting. But, I firmly believe these guys are looking for an excuse to shoot a “N-word” to brag about it. I don’t think they give even one damn about corporate chain stores, or small mom&pop shops operated by minorities, in minority communities.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/open-carry-activists-strapped-with-guns-crash-police-brutality-protest-in-dallas/

  2. Malisha says:

    I just heard somebody on a radio show ask, “Why did he run?”

    OK, this gets me. Why did he run? You’re a young Black man and suddenly police start focusing their attention on you. What are you gonna do, stand there and play the odds they feel “afraid for their lives” or run? I bet you don’t even get a chance to think about it; your adrenalin kicks in and your self-preservation gene screams, “RUN!” and you’re OFF!

    • Because if they don’t shoot you, and you don’t get away, they will do what they did to Freddie Gray or plant drugs on you and bust you.

      • MichelleO says:

        Seems to me that Freddie Gray knew who those particular cops were, and that he had had past dealings with them before. Since they say he has a long rap sheet; and he is a native Baltimorean—-I bet he is very well acquainted with the unlawful police tactics and procedures.

        As a matter of fact, I bet he was told by one or more of them that if they ever saw him again, he had better watch out. Freddie tried to run away as fast as he could, but didn’t make it. And, for that, I am so sorry. He knew what they were going to do to him.

        • I totally agree MichelleO. I felt this from the beginning. Which is why he ran. I also heard or read that he won a prior lawsuit, ( a year ago), from police brutality? I don’t know if this true, or rumor mill. Supposedly it was for $50 grand. ???

          • I know he was a beneficiary of a settlement for people poisoned by lead contained in paint (i.e., lead paint poisoning). Don’t know about a police brutality lawsuit.

  3. a2nite says:

    Good, thanks!!!!

  4. Malisha says:

    I want to see those police statements. They were all being supported by the police union and lawyers, saying they did everything right. I want lies to be revealed and the cover-up to be dissected.

    • Me too, but for starters, they lied about him having a switchblade. Therefore, it was an unlawful arrest.

      • Malisha says:

        I heard they chased him because he made EYE CONTACT!

        What, the Emmet Till rule? No forbidden LOOKS?

        They couldn’t find the knife on him until they chased him down, could they?

        • Right. The knife was folded up in his pocket and not visible. They didn’t find it until they took him down and searched him.

        • Nef05 says:

          I had questions about that, as well. I thought (erroneously apparently) that they would have needed to have observed him committing an unlawful act, or have him be a person of interest in a crime already committed to stop him even if he ran. So, switchblade or not (which they couldn’t have known about) even running him down would have constituted unlawful detainment?

          Needless to say, I was wrong. They will no doubt claim a Terry Stop/Stop and Frisk based on that eye contact, and make up some more nonsense (articulated by their lawyers no doubt) to fulfill the “reasonable suspicion” part. Doesn’t help that it was a high crime area.

          Prof discussed it here, not long after the Zimmerman verdict.
          https://frederickleatherman.com/category/fourth-amendment/investigatory-stops/reasonable-suspicion/terry-v-ohio-rule/

  5. Trained Observer says:

    Cheers for a prosecutor who eschews foot-dragging and appreciates expediency. Now for building/solidifying the case, polishing the presentation and making sure no rum-dummies get on the jury.

  6. Disappointed says:

    I read on Twitter gofundme shut down the unions request for donations. If true I’m glad. No more funding criminals. I hope they all go to prison. An illegal arrest that turned into another death sentence. It’s crazy on the streets.

  7. Professor, I have a question. Why is there a need for a grand jury, since the state attorney has already filed charges? I don’ t get it. Thanks in advance.

    • A prosecutor’s charging decision must always be reviewed for probable cause by a judge or grand jury. Some jurisdictions, like California, require grand jury indictments for all felony charges. Other jurisdictions, like Florida, permit prosecution for a felony by a prosecutor’s information, subject to review for probable cause by a judge. Apparently, Maryland, like California, still uses grand juries to review for probable cause.

      Probable cause is a low threshold. The test is whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed the crime charged.

      • Okay,,Thank You, again. I am glad that Ms. Mosby brought charges, and I am in this until the end. Hopefully, convictions. I know it is uphill, change of venue, jury selection, and possible plea deals. We have a long way to go.

        • Yep, but there’s no reason not to celebrate what Mosby did. Some people over at Firedoglake, where I also post, criticized the celebration as uncool. I think that’s ridiculous and I said so.

  8. Rev Bev says:

    The power of truth….what a relief with hope for healing.

  9. Rachael says:

    As thrilled as I am that charges have been filed, the fact that this happened and they needed to be is very sad. I do think there will be convictions this time – there has to be, please, please, please let there be. I have children and grandchildren. There have to be convictions.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    I’m happy, but won’t hold my breath for convictions. Hope we’re turning a corner in the nasty chapter of police corruption in America.

    • It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but this is a strong case because they can prove the arrest was unlawful and the cops lied to conceal what they did.

      • racerrodig says:

        I’m also thinking “jury makeup” if they aren’t offered / take a plea. I agree this case is far to strong for acquittals. They couldn’t see the knife where it was, so looking at a cop is grounds for…..oh, my bad, there were no grounds.

        I think they should have watched more “Law & Order” episodes. Hell, even the TV LE hero’s can’t use evidence that wasn’t in plain view without a warrant.

        Not to mention none of the cops said they were scared of Freddie. The union reps and their hired mouth pieces are now claiming this is a rush to judgement……..judgement…..or investigation / prosecution. See, a rush to judgement is what Fogen, or Duuhnn did, or cops who shoot at those fleeing or surrendering.

        One PA ex cop / FBI guy said this is a bad move since cops won’t be able to do their job according to their training. If they have to actually think, it’s a problem…………at least that’s what my take on that BS is.

        In my opinion, their world is falling down and the free execution passes are drying due to the digital age…….Thank God !!

        • Hopefully this case and the Walter Scott murder in South Carolina will turn the tide.

          The possibility of being filmed while assaulting and killing someone may cause some cops to think twice before giving in to their meaner instincts.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        I’m told it’s also easier because the injury was not a shooting. : / True?

        • I think that’s probably true because without a video, cops almost always get the benefit of the doubt even when the person is unarmed. It’s probably more significant in this case that Freddie Gray was unlawfully arrested, unarmed, handcuffed and shackled without a seatbelt in the back of the van. That’s a bad set of facts for the cops. Plus, they lied about what happened and the prosecution can prove it. In other words, it’s a pretty unique set of facts.

  11. Thank you for listing the names and charges of the six police officers who will face charges for killing Freddie Gray. I wish that we could have had a similar outcome in the killing of Michael Brown and, subsequently, two other young black men in the St. Louis area who were killed by police (Vonderitt Myers and Kajieme Powell). The Baltimore prosecutor did her job and she did what was right. In St. Louis, that did not come close to happening.

    • You’re welcome. I’ve been following this all day and I can’t stop smiling. Finally, some righteous action!

      • racerrodig says:

        One would think, at least those with a double digit IQ, that “well….hmmm, I’m a cop and all these killings are drawing attention so I better keep my nose clean and actually “protect & serve” and not violate Constitutional Rights. But I guess that’s just me.

        I’d be inclined to think most if not all of these cops are going to serve time. I don’t want t hear about what a great dad one of them is, that one has a baby on the way, what a hard life one had and the one who has already been diagnosed with a mental illness and stated he can’t keep on like this.

        Claim that and it’s an indictment of the entire force. Why are these criminals on OUR streets with guns and badges.

        I had this discussion on Wed. with my son. These criminals have an unending supply of victims. Take the criminals away…..not the supply of victims.

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