Justice

Results of the Freddie Gray Murder Trial Are In

June 23rd 2016

By:
Aimee Kuvadia

The city of Baltimore is preparing for protests following the announcement Thursday that the Baltimore police officer charged with Freddie Gray's murder was acquitted of all charges, according to various media reports.

freddie gray

Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, was driving the police van holding 25-year-old Gray and was accused of giving him a "rough ride." This is considered an act of police brutality, when a detainee is handcuffed without a seatbelt and driven carelessly, so the suspect is thrown around in the back. Gray later died after suffering from a severed spinal cord, an injury he incurred while in police custody, Mic reports.

Six officers were indicted in Gray’s April 2015 death and arrest. Goodson faced the gravest charge: second-degree depraved heart murder. Prosecutors alleged that Goodson showed a “depraved heart” because he had five opportunities to help Gray after his neck was broken in the rear of the van, but did not, according to The Sun.

freddie gray protest

His other charges included three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Goodson is up for administrative review and will stay suspended by the Baltimore Police Department, The Sun reports.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams presided over a bench trial, which Goodson elected. Williams formerly worked as a city prosecutor who investigated police misconduct for the Justice Department.

Freddie Gray arrest

The trials of the officers involved begin next month. The first begins July 7 with Lt. Brian Rice, who is charged with manslaughter for his role in Gray's death. Officer William Porter's trial culminated in a hung jury and the judge calling a mistrial on all counts, and Officer Edward Nero, like Goodson, was found not guilty of all charges in May, reports Mic.

Prosecutors won their case against Porter and Officer Garret Miller in the state's highest court when they offered the officers immunity for testifying as witnesses against co-defendants, so now their case will be handled by a new team of prosecutors. Miller's trial will begin July 27, and Porter's will start on Sept. 6. The trial for Sgt. Alicia White, another officer who was indicted, will start on Oct. 13.

Justin Fenton and Kevin Rector of The Baltimore Sun write:

"(Goodson's) acquittal, which comes after Williams considered the charges for three days, throws the rest of the cases into jeopardy. The other officers charged face similar, but lesser accusations."

Here's how Twitter is reacting to the verdict: