Another Freddie Gray Case Officer Cleared of All Administrative Charges

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Lt. Brian Rice

Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking officer on the scene on the day Freddie Gray’s spinal cord was severed, was cleared of any wrongdoing today by a police trial board.

Rice was found not guilty of 10 administrative charges, WBAL-TV reports. The alleged violations were tied to his failure to make sure Gray, 25, was seat-belted in the back of a police van, ensure that the scene was secure, and follow other police procedures for cases involving use of force.

Police haven’t released any statement or commented on the ruling.

The prosecutor for the city, Neil Duke, had reportedly argued that Rice failed to do his job as the ranking officer on the scene on April 12, 2015.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Rice’s attorney, Michael Davey, said his client is “extremely happy,” and went directly to police headquarters downtown to have his policing powers reinstated.

He already received $127,000 in back pay after he was acquitted of felony charges last summer. He was also honored by the conservative-leaning Media Research Center at a black tie gala last year.

Rice was one of six officers charged by city prosecutors in Gray’s death. All were acquitted or had their cases dropped in spring and summer of 2016. While federal investigators declined to charge them with any additional offenses in September, five of the six still faced trial board hearings for alleged internal police rule violations. The trial board is comprised of police officers from outside of Baltimore.

Rice is the second officer acquitted of any rule breaking after Caesar Goodson, who drove the van carrying Gray, was found not guilty last week. Two others, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, accepted “minor disciplinary action” in lieu of facing the trial board, and are both still employed by the police department.

Each officer would stand to lose his or her badge if found guilty of any one of the administrative charges.

The last public trial board hearing, for Sgt. Alicia White, is set to begin Dec. 5.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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