Prosecutors drop all remaining charges in Freddie Gray case
Baltimore prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all remaining charges against police in the death of Freddie Gray, an African American man whose fatal injury in custody last year led to riots in the city.india Updated: Jul 27, 2016 20:49 IST
Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped the remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction.
Gray was a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015. His death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, set off massive protests in the city and led to the worst riots the city had seen in decades.
The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver who the state considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.
A fourth officer had his case heard by a jury, but the panel deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.
On Wednesday, instead of a pretrial hearing for Officer Garrett Miller — who had faced assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges — Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow told the judge that prosecutors were dropping the charges against Miller and the rest of the officers.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys quickly left the courtroom without commenting, but both sides planned news conferences later Wednesday.
After Gray’s death, the US Justice Department launched a patterns and practice investigation into allegations of widespread abuse and unlawful arrests by the Baltimore Police Department. The results have not been released.
Prosecutors had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby wasted little time in announcing charges after Gray’s death — one day after receiving the police department’s investigation while a tense city was still under curfew — and she did not shy from the spotlight. She posed for magazine photos, sat for TV interviews and even appeared onstage at a Prince concert in Gray’s honour.