Baltimore’s newly elected State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide on Friday and that warrants have been issued for the arrest of six Baltimore police officers involved.
The Baltimore Sun reports:
The six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray – who died after being injured in police custody – have been charged criminally, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday.
Mosby’s announcement on the steps of the War Memorial Building was greeted with cheers and applause. Mosby said she told Gray’s family that “no one is above the law and I would pursue justice upon their behalf.”
Mosby’s office provided the following release, which lists the officers and the charges against them. (Courtesy of Tweets from MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee)
Officers names and charges in Freddie Gray case. pic.twitter.com/AAr7BD4dcQ
— Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) May 1, 2015
Officers names and charges page#2 pic.twitter.com/Yv5tKNJoqO
— Trymaine Lee (@trymainelee) May 1, 2015
Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., 45, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.
Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Mosby claims that there will be a thorough investigation of the April 19 death of Gray. She told reporters that the knife found in Gray’s pocket was not an illegal switchblade knife as was previously reported.
Mosby laid out the events to the public.
She claims her team “worked around the clock, 12- and 14-hour days” to determine that the “severe and critical neck injury” that Gray suffered was the result of being handcuffed, shackled and not seat-belted in the van. Mosby referenced the investigation “comprehensive, thorough and independent.”
While it’s hard to take the claim that this investigation is “independent” seriously, Gene Ryan, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, wrote in a letter to Mosby stating, “Not one of the officers involved in this tragic situation left home in the morning with the anticipation that someone with whom they interacted would not go home that night. As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.”
“While I have the utmost respect for you and your office, I have very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case,” he added.
Mosby seems to have a lot of conflict of interest in this case, including her ties to William Murphy (a $5,000 donation from Murphy to Mosby for her campaign and serving on her transition committee), the Gray family attorney, the connections of her lead prosecutor to members of local media, and she is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby.
“Most importantly, it is clear that your husband’s political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation,” Murphy wrote. “In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or a violation of the Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility, I ask that you appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine whether or not any charges should be filed.”
However, Mosby replied, “The people of Baltimore City elected me and there is no accountability with a special prosecutor. I will prosecute any case within my jurisdiction.”
Since Mosby claims to have done a “comprehensive, thorough and independent” investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, I must ask if her office will also do such an investigation into the claims of Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts that violent agitators were not from Baltimore and pursue justice for those people, as well? I must ask, will Mrs. Mosby also pursue the claims of a stand down order being given to police while riots raged in the streets? Will she also investigate Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who told a national television audience that the City of Baltimore gave those who wished to destroy space to do that, later denied she said it and then was unwilling to answer questions from reporters later?
I’m not sure exactly what went on in the police van, but the reality is that though Freddie Gray had a criminal past, it appears that there was no reason for his arrest at this time. Furthermore, Gray was in police custody, so they are responsible for him while they have him. Evidence will be forthcoming for these officers. A trial will be set and they will have their day in court. The facts will come out. The question that remains is will all of the other violence and criminal activity that took place in Baltimore over recent days receive the same kind of investigation and justice brought to bear on those involved?