The remaining trials of police accused in Freddie Gray’s death will not go forward. Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby decided to drop the charges against the three officers who were set to face trial in the coming weeks.
Prosecutors announced the decision Wednesday morning, when Judge Barry Williams was set to hear motions for the trial of Officer Garrett Miller. He and Sgt. Alicia White were set to face trial for the first time over the next two months, while Officer William Porter was scheduled to face a retrial after a jury deadlocked last year.
In three previous trials of Officers Caesar Goodson, Edward Nero and Lt. Brian Rice, Williams acquitted officers of the charges they faced. Mosby faced calls to drop the charges after each decision, and on Wednesday she indicated that she agreed a conviction was unlikely.
Just as when she charged the officers in the spring of 2015, Mosby emerged to give a fiery press conference. Speaking outside the Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester, Mosby said that her office decided not to try the cases due to the likelihood of similar outcomes. The police officers would elect a bench trial, and Williams would render similar verdicts.
“Without real, substantial reform to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it and we would still end up with the same result,” Mosby said.
She defended the prosecutors’ handling of the case and the facts of the case, but painted the office as coming up against a system where it is difficult to convict police. She pointed to the fact that the investigation of the police was initially not done independently, and the officers’ ability to opt for a bench trial instead of a trial by jury.
“We do not believe Freddie Gray killed himself,” she said. “We stand by the medical examiner’s determination that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide.”
Speaking for the first time since a gag order imposed by Williams was lifted, Mosby also sought to defend her own actions, saying she maintained silence despite being “physically and professionally, threatened, mocked, harassed and even sued.”
“For those that believe that I am anti-police, it’s simply not the case. I’m anti-police brutality,” she said.
Despite the outcome of the trials, Mosby made a direct link between police reforms and Gray’s case. She said new policies and programs implemented by the police including body-worn cameras, cameras in the back of police vans, an updated use of force policy and new policies for seatbelting prisoners all came about as a result of Gray’s case.
Going forward, the officers still face the results of an internal police review in connection with Gray’s death. Additionally, the entire police department is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
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