State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby (the youngest Chief Prosecutor in a US major city) announced Friday that all six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, have been charged criminally.
Via the Baltimore Sun, “Mosby’s announcement on the steps of the War Memorial Building was greeted with cheers and applause.”
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office. A man who answered the phone at Goodson’s home declined to comment and hung up the phone.
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.
If convicted of all charges, Goodson would face up to 63 years in prison. Rice would face up to 30 years and Porter, Nero, Miller and White would face up to 20 years.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of all six officers. It wasn’t immediately clear where the officers were Friday morning.
Perhaps the most significant finding in the indictment is that there was no probable cause for the arrest. The knife that the officers found on Gray was not a switchblade, which is illegal to conceal-carry in Maryland. (But perhaps the officers thought it was.)
Another problematic aspect of the arrest was the failure to secure the prisoner with a seat-belt in the paddy-wagon, as required by the Baltimore Police Department.
Famed Baltimore defense attorney Warren Brown said of Mosby in the NY Daily News, yesterday, “she’s in an unenviable position. This city will burn if she doesn’t indict. Her career would be over. But looking at what we know so far, I just don’t see an indictable offense.”
Brown supported Mosby’s opponent in her upset election last November but said he has great respect for the Democrat, who is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby.
“I feel sorry for her almost. She’s a good person, and she is trying to seize upon integrity in every decision she makes. But if she makes the decision to not indict, she’ll have to have a jet waiting at the airport. It’s a shame,” he said.
Brown predicted Mosby will take the case to the grand jury as quickly as possible.
“I think she’ll put everything in there and try to usher them to involuntary manslaughter,” he said.
But that is not what happened. What happened seems reminiscent of what happened in the George Zimmerman case in Florida, where a craven DA took the weak case to appease an angry mob.
And now that all six officers have been indicted in what has become a major cause celebre in Baltimore – a city that is 68% black – is not a change of venue going to be required for justice to prevail?
I think it would be next to impossible for there to be a fair trial in the city of Baltimore, where one of the witnesses has already had his life threatened. Donta Allen, who shared some of the ride with Freddie Gray in the Police Transport Van has already changed his story drastically.
Whatever the outcome ends up being for these six officers – their lives are essentially over.
On The Kelly File, last night, a friend of two of the officers who were involved in the arrest, vouched for the men’s character. He said his friends were being “thrown under the bus.”
CNN interviewed a source close to one of the arresting officers, yesterday, who had a plausible explanation for the officer’s failure to buckle Freddie Gray into his seat.
Cameras recorded parts of his arrest. Gray, handcuffed and screaming in apparent pain, was lifted off the ground by officers, who dragged him to the van. He was conscious and talking.
At one point after it left, the van stopped and Gray was placed in shackles.
“Freddie Gray was shackled because he was irate. He was irate; he was angry. He was moving around in the wagon so they were asked — the arresting officers were asked to leg shackle him, and that’s when the wagon pulled over,” the source said Wednesday.
The source also said Gray was not seat-belted in the van, and gave an explanation as to why.
“They didn’t want to reach over him. You were in a tight space in the paddy wagon. He’s already irate. He still has his teeth and he still has his saliva. So, in order to seat belt somebody you have to get in their personal space. They’re not going to get in his personal space if he’s already irate.
“Most people in the paddy wagon aren’t seat belted in. They are just now starting to seat belt as a result of this case,” the source said.
The source said that “the officer believes Gray was injured while he was being arrested, but before he was put inside a police van. The officer does not know how Gray was hurt.”
Meanwhile, via Drudge:
VAN WITNESS FEARS FOR LIFE...
Sharpton Calls for Feds to 'Take Over Policing'...
'Going to Have to Fight States' Rights'...
MICHAEL MOORE: Disarm the police!
PRINCE Records Tribute to Baltimore...
DOJ announces body-cam program...
Obama says he might go back to community organizing...
And now this, via Weasel Zippers: