Six Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death

   < < Go Back
from The Wall Street Journal,

Officer Caesar Goodson, driver of transport van, faces second-degree murder charge.

Six city police officers were charged Friday in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who suffered fatal spinal injuries last month while in custody, a swift development in a case that has heightened the national focus on policing in black communities.

The announcement by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the city’s chief prosecutor, surprised many in a city where officials had cautioned for days that the investigation might not come to a quick resolution. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in some neighborhoods that were roiled by looting and violence after Mr. Gray’s funeral on Monday, while police union officials said they were disappointed in what they called a rush to judgment.

The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving a police transport van that brought Mr. Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Mr. Goodson, 45 years old, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

Officers William Porter, 25, Lt. Brian Rice, 41, and Sgt. Alicia White, 30, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officers Edward Nero, 29, and Garrett Miller, 26, were charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Rice and Messrs. Nero and Miller were also charged with false imprisonment for making what Ms. Mosby termed an illegal arrest of Mr. Gray.

The officers surrendered to police and bail was set in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $350,000, according to court records and state officials. By Friday night, all six officers had posted bail and been released,

Mike Davey, a Baltimore attorney who represents Lt. Rice and said he was speaking for all six officers, said he thought the publicity surrounding the case had motivated the filing of charges, and that the officers would ultimately be cleared.

“I have never seen such a hurried rush to deliver criminal charges,” said Mr. Davey, who appeared with Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore police union. “We believe these officers will be vindicated as they have done nothing wrong.”

More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):