Six Baltimore police officers were charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray on Friday morning, Maryland State’s Attorney for the city of Baltimore Marilyn Mosby announced. Gray’s death was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner on Friday, Mosby said.
The officers face a host of charges. Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who drove the transport van that carried Gray around West Baltimore on the morning of April 12, was charged with second degree murder. Lt. Brian W. Rice, Sgt. Alicia D. White and Officer William G. Porter face manslaughter charges. Officer Garrett Miller and Officer Edward M. Nero face assault charges. Two of the officers face false imprisonment charges.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said five of the six police officers are already in custody, and that all six are now suspended without pay.
The 28 charges brought new revelations in the case.
According to Mosby, Gray’s arrest was illegal. The knife found on him was a closed pocket knife, Moby said.
Mosby also confirmed previous Baltimore police assertions that Gray did not have a seatbelt on, and did not receive medical care multiple times. She said Gray asked for medical attention, and was not given it at multiple stops.
Mosby said Gray suffered an injury to his spine while laying face-down on the floor of the transport van, handcuffed and shackled. When paramedics were finally called at the Western District Police Station, they found Gray unable to breathe, and in cardiac arrest.
After an authoritative, heartfelt reading of the charges, Mosby asked for peace while she pursues the case.
“I heard your call for no justice, no peace,” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”
Just before the press conference, the Baltimore police union issued a letter asking for a special prosecutor to take the case. They alleged Mosby has a conflict of interest because of her connection to William Murphy, Jr., the Gray family attorney.
“The people of Baltimore city elected me, and there’s no accountability with a special prosecutor,” she said.
Mosby’s husband is Nick Mosby, councilman of the seventh district in Baltimore city. The police union also wants the state’s attorney’s office to avoid “any appearance of impropriety.” Asked about the connection, Marilyn Mosby drew a distinction between their two jobs.
Mosby said her office conducted an independent investigation from the morning of the incident apart from police. Though much was made of yesterday’s handover of the investigation from the police department, Mosby said her office had already confirmed the facts in the case on their own.
UPDATE 5:30 p.m. Reaction from Gray’s Family, Police Union
Mosby’s surprise announcement was met with relief from Gray’s family, while the city’s police union continued their criticism.
Baltimore police union president Gene Ryan said he disagreed with the charges and thinks the officers will be vindicated, while attorney Michael Davey intimated that the announcement was made so quickly because of the publicity surrounding the case.
“Let me begin by stating how appalled and frustrated we are at this morning’s events and the information announced by State’s Attorney Mosby,” Ryan said. “We are disappointed in an apparent rush to judgment given the fact that the investigation into this matter has not been concluded.” Davey also said the officers “did nothing wrong”
The family and attorney Billy Murphy maintained that the charges were the first step in a “quest for justice” in Gray’s case. Murphy said the family continued to believe that the process should be rushed, but said they had “confidence” in Mosby and her team.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake “sickened and heartbroken” by the details of the charge, and vowed to reform the police department.
“We know that the vast majority of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department continue to serve our city with pride, courage, and distinction,” she said. “But to those who engage in brutality, misconduct, racism and corruption: there is no place for you in the Baltimore Police Department. Today’s indictments are the next step in the legal process that is running its course.”