The latest trial of a Baltimore police officer accused in Freddie Gray’s death features one less charge than initially believed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office dropped one of two misconduct charges against Lt. Brian Rice. He still faces manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment.
Rice is the highest ranking of the six officers to be charged in the case. According to the Washington Post, prosecutors argued that gave him additional responsibility over Gray’s well-being, and meant he likely knew Gray was supposed to be seat-belted into the back of the police van. Rice’s lawyer, meanwhile, argued that people arrested are transported without a seatbelt all the time, and said Gray was trying to incite a crowd by crying out during his arrest.
During Officer Caesar Goodson’s trial, prosecutors argued that it was Goodson who had ultimate responsibility because he was the driver of the van. A key question of this trial could be whether Judge Barry Williams is open to accepting this new line of argumentation.
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