No federal or state charges in the death of Freddie Gray

The U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday it won’t bring federal
civil rights charges against six Baltimore police officers involved in
the arrest and in-custody death of Freddie Gray, a young black man
whose death touched off weeks of protests and unrest in the city.
The officers were charged by state prosecutors after Gray’s neck
was broken in the back of a police van in April 2015. The 25-year-old
was handcuffed and shackled, but he was unrestrained by a seat
belt.
The Justice Department said in a statement that while Gray’s death
was “undeniably tragic,” federal prosecutors did not find enough
evidence to prove the officers willfully violated his civil rights, a high
legal threshold.
The decision not to bring federal charges against the officers means
none of them will be held criminally responsible for Gray’s death.
Three officers were acquitted in state court, and Baltimore State’s
Attorney Marilyn Mosby later dropped the remaining state cases.
Five officers face internal disciplinary hearings scheduled to begin
Oct. 30. Those officers are Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and
officers Caesar Goodson, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller. The sixth
officer, William Porter, was not charged administratively.
The Justice Department decision was first reported by The Baltimore
Sun. The Baltimore Police Department, Mayor Catherine Pugh, State’s
Attorney Marilyn Mosby and the U.S. attorney’s office declined to
comment on the decision.
Gray’s death triggered the firing of then-police commissioner
Anthony Batts.
It also prompted the Justice Department to open an investigation into
allegations of discriminatory policing practices and unlawful arrests.
Last year, the Justice Department released a report detailing
widespread patterns of abuse and misconduct within the Baltimore
Police Department. The federal agency entered into a court-
enforceable agreement in January to reform the troubled police
department.

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