Acting far faster than legal analysts expected, the Baltimore State’s Attorney has determined that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide and has slapped the six police officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport with multiple charges, including manslaughter and misconduct. The Baltimore Sun reports that one of the officers, Caesar R. Goodson, Jr. — the driver of the van in which Gray apparently suffered a fatal injury — has been charged with second-degree murder.
The New York Times coverage of the prosecutor’s surprise annoucement Friday morning noted that the state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, “described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. She said that time and again police mistreated Mr. Gray, arresting him with no grounds, violating police procedure by putting him in cuffs and leg cuffs in the van without seat belting him and then repeatedly failing to get him medical attention.”
The announcement of the charges being filed against all six police officers involved in the alleged homicide comes only one day after the Baltimore Police Department completed its initial investigation into Gray’s death and handed over its findings to Mosby’s office. Mosby, who has been on the job for only a few months, indicated her investigators have been conducted their own probe into Gray’s mysterious death, even as Baltimore police wee investigating.
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The prosecutor’s swift announcement, according to the Baltimore Sun report, drew sharp criticism from the president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, FOP Lodge 3. In an open letter to the state’s attorney, Gene Ryan noted what he claimed is a conflict of interest in Mosby’s prosecution of the case because she’s 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,” the letter states. “In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or a violation of the Professional Rules of Professional Responsibilty, I ask that you appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine whether or not any charges should be filed.”
The FOP’s request for appointment of a Special Prosecutor was denied.
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In making her unexpected announcement of charges against the six police officers and warrants issued for their arrest, Marilyn Mosby appealed to the public to remain calm and not engage in a continuation of the violence that rocked Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.
“I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace,'” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”
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