Six Baltimore police officers charged in death of Freddie Gray
BALTIMORE – Six Baltimore police officers have been charged, including one with murder, in the death of a black man who was arrested and suffered a fatal neck injury while riding in a moving police van, the city’s chief prosecutor said on Friday.
Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby said Freddie Gray, who died a week after his April 12 arrest, was in handcuffs and shackles but otherwise was not restrained inside the van. The officers failed to provide medical attention to Gray even though he asked for help on at least two occasions.
The death of 25-year-old Gray has become the latest flashpoint in a national outcry over the treatment of African-Americans and other minority groups by US law enforcement.
After a night of rioting in Baltimore on Monday following Gray’s funeral, protests spread to other major cities in a reprise of demonstrations set off by police killings last year of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, New York and elsewhere.
Six Baltimore police officers who were involved in arresting Gray were charged with crimes ranging from second-degree murder to manslaughter to assault and misconduct in office. Only one, Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the police vehicle, was charged with second-degree murder.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and the other offenses carry prison terms of between three years to 10 years.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Mosby said at a dramatic news conference on the steps of the War Memorial Building in Baltimore a day after the police department handed over findings from its internal investigation.
The decision to bring charges and the speed at which Mosby made the announcement was greeted with jubilation on the streets of Baltimore, where angry young people looted, burned cars and clashed with police only four nights ago. –Reuters