6 Police Officers Involved in Freddie Gray Homicide Indicted
A Baltimore grand jury indicted all six Baltimore police officers charged in the homicide of Freddie Gray. Gray died in April from injuries sustained while in police custody.
The officers allegedly gave Gray a "rough ride" in the back of a police van, resulting in fatal injuries to his spine. Gray's death had already sparked massive protests and riots in Baltimore, most of which were quieted with news of the criminal charges and arrests of the officers.
List of Offenses
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the six officers with a multitude of offenses ranging from second degree depraved heart murder, to misconduct in office. Mosby added reckless endangerment charges against all six while dropping false imprisonment charges.
Under Maryland law, reckless endangerment is defined as recklessly engaging in "conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another," and is a misdemeanor. The charges were probably added as lesser included offenses in case a jury is unwilling to convict the officers of more serious charges like involuntary manslaughter.
The false imprisonment charges were likely based on the officers' lack of probable cause for arresting Gray in the first place, as it turned out the knife he was carrying was legal. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that just because an officer makes an honest mistake of the law doesn't mean a search or arrest is illegal.
Grand Jury to Trial Jury
Getting a grand jury indictment was an important hurdle for the Mosby and the state. Prosecutors in Ferguson failed to secure a grand jury indictment in Michael's Brown's homicide, which is why the case could not proceed to trial.
Officers Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., William G. Porter, Garrett Miller, and Edward M. Nero, along with Lt. Brian W. Rice and Sgt. Alicia D. White, remain free on bail. They will be arraigned July 2 when the case moves to Baltimore Circuit Court.
- Six Baltimore Police officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray (The Baltimore Sun)
- South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder of Unarmed Man (FindLaw Blotter)
- NYPD Officer Not Charged in Eric Garner's Chokehold Death (FindLaw Blotter)
- Ferguson Grand Jury: 3 Legal Facts to Keep in Mind (FindLaw Blotter)