Today, Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice was found not guilty on all charges related to Freddie Gray’s death last year. Rice was the highest ranking officer of the six accused in Gray’s death and was facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Earlier this year, officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson Jr. were acquitted on all charges in bench trials. The trial of officer William Porter ended in a mistrial in December after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the four charges against him.
Rice elected to have Circuit Judge Barry Williams decide his fate rather than submit to a trial by a jury of his peers in Baltimore. A very wise choice it seems as many have stated that the charges leveled by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby were overreaching and on poor legal standing. Judge Williams repeatedly grilled state prosecutors over the issue that Gray’s death was caused by a failure to secure him properly in a police van after a “rough ride” through the streets of Baltimore to the police station. Williams asked prosecutors, “Where is the foreseeability in the eyes of Rice that his failure to secure Gray would lead to his death?” To which the state could not give a satisfactory answer.
There is now an increased clamor by the police union representing Baltimore police officers for Mosby to drop all remaining charges in the case.
Three more trials are set to take place that include: Officer Garrett Miller scheduled to beginon July 27; a retrial of Officer William Porter on Sept. 6; and Sgt. Alicia White’s trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 13. All of the officers have pleaded not guilty.
Baltimore was the scene of violent protests, looting and property damage in the aftermath of Gray’s death.