The Baltimore Sun reported today that the U.S. Department of Justice will not move forward with charges against the officers in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.
Back when Loretta Lynch was the Attorney General of the United States in the Obama administration, she said that the department would look into criminal civil rights violations committed by the officers. The current administration, under President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has deemed that no further action is warranted.
The Justice Department released a statement this evening explaining its decision:
After an extensive review of this tragic event, conducted by career prosecutors and investigators, the Justice Department concluded that the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Caesar Goodson, Officer William Porter, Officer Garrett Miller, Officer Edward Nero, Lieutenant Brian Rice, or Sergeant Alicia White willfully violated Gray’s civil rights. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without prosecution.
The officers, who were indicted by the state of Maryland, were not convicted. Three officers were acquitted, one officer’s case resulted in a hung jury and charges against two of the officers were dropped.
Public disciplinary trials for five of the officers are scheduled for this fall and winter. The Justice Department and the Baltimore Police Department have entered into a consent decree to reform the police department.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Congressman John Sarbanes, and Senator Ben Cardin issued a statement expressing disappointment with the DOJ’s decision.