Police lieutenant acquitted in Freddie Gray death

Police lieutenant acquitted in Freddie Gray death

Police lieutenant acquitted in Freddie Gray death

Rice was charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Last year's death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury during an arrest in which he rode unsecured in a police van, shook this city to its core and became a grim example of the reckoning over how police officers use force against minorities. "All six officers that's involved with the Freddie Gray trial, all of them will be found not guilty and the reason why is because the system is biased". Williams said the state failed to meet their burden of proving "every element of the crimes charged" beyond a reasonable doubt, and so the court is "constitutionally required to find the defendant not guilty", according to court records. Gray was allegedly originally arrested for possessing an illegal switchblade.

Prosecutors sought to show that Rice, as the senior officer on the scene, bore the responsibility for Gray's death.

Porter, who will be retried in September, was forced to testify under immunity granted by the state.

He says prosecutors "rushed to judgment" in bringing charges against six police officers.

Baltimore police have arrested about 20 people during a protest after participants blocked lanes on an interstate in the city.

Gray's death sparked protests and some riots in Baltimore.

Two of the six officers charged have not gone on trial yet.

Rice was the fourth officer on trial for the death of Freddie Gray.

In order to convict Rice of involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors had to prove that he acted in a grossly negligent manner and was aware of the risks to Gray but disregarded them.

"If [a prosecutor] believes a crime was committed and they believe they're sending a valuable message to the community about the value of a poor black man's life or what is appropriate responsibility for a police officer there are benefits of this trial that can't be measured in convictions and acquittals", said Jaros. Prosecutor Janice Bledsoe said in her closing argument that "Lt. Rice's decisions can not be be blamed on poor judgement or error", and that "i$3 t was an intentional act that started a chain leading to the death of Freddie Gray". What is now known for certain is that prosecutors withheld witness statements which supported the officers' claims and that at least one of the investigators in the case has said that the testimony offered to the grand jury to gain the indictments was misrepresented. The lack of evidence resulted in Rice's acquittal of all three charges.

Judge Williams had previously dismissed a second-degree assault charge against Rice and the prosecution dropped another misconduct charge at the beginning of the trial. Defense attorneys contended that the lieutenant deemed it unsafe to get into the back of the van with an increasingly unruly Gray as a hostile crowd gathered. After Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver, was acquitted in June, he received $87,000 in back pay.

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