Police union: Justice served in Gray case
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jul 28, 2016,
Jul 28, 2016, 1:17
Prosecutors dropped the remaining charges Wednesday against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray, blaming police for a biased investigation that failed to yield any convictions.
Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal injury, apparently while en route to the police station, after he was shackled and loaded into a police van but not secured with a seatbelt in April 2015.
The death of the 25-year-old was among the high-profile deaths of black suspects at the hands of USA police that have made law enforcement tactics and police officers' treatment of minorities into national headlines, It also fueled the rise of the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter.
The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver who the state considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.
In court, however, a jury and the presiding judge over three bench trials couldn't agree with Mosby's claim that evidence showed the officers' negligence.. Officers who were witnesses were placed on the investigation team, lead detectives were uncooperative, the department launched a "counter-investigation" to disprove her case and officers created notes after the case was launched and gave them to the defense months before they were provided to the state, she alleged.
Gray's death sparked protests in the city, with people in the community believing excessive force or negligence led to his death.
State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby wasted little time in announcing charges after Gray's death - one day after receiving the police department's investigation while a tense city was still under curfew - and she did not shy from the spotlight.
The city's troubles forced Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her reform-minded police chief and abandon her re-election campaign. The case that ended in a mistrial in December, against officer William Porter, was due for another hearing, and charges were also pending against Sergeant Alicia White.
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Earlier in the day, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said blamed the police investigation of bias and reluctance.
Ms. Mosby said the personal toll she's taken during the case and resulting trials was worth it.
She declined to take questions, citing a lawsuit the officers have filed against her. Even when the facts are on the victim's side - when a medical examiner rules the death a homicide or, like in so many other cases, police misconduct is caught on video - the justice system is manipulated to make what seems like a home run prosecution nothing more than a theory.
Tessa Hill-Aston said Wednesday that she thinks the state's attorney's office did a "remarkable job".
Gray's mysterious death turned the largely black city near the nation's capital into a tinderbox.
Six officers were charged-ranging from assault to second-degree murder-in relation to Gray's death.
Richard Shipley said during a news conference Wednesday that the family "is proud to have her represent us".