Baltimore Police Officer Acquitted of All Charges in Death of Freddie Gray
Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson Jr. has been acquitted of all charges in the arrest and death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died in the custody of police in 2015. Gray’s death ignited protests across Baltimore and the country.
Goodson, 46, was one of six officers charged in Gray’s death. He was the only officer who faced a murder charge.
Police arrested Gray on the morning of April 12th, 2015, after Gray made eye contact with officers and ran away. Following Gray’s arrest, Goodson drove the police van that carried Gray through West Baltimore to central booking.
Prosecutors say Gray was given a “rough ride” with no seatbelt. He suffered a spinal injury when the van made an abrupt stop and he was unable to brace himself, according to the medical examiner’s report. He died a week later.
The officer’s attorney said Gray’s death was a tragic accident, that it was normal to not place prisoners in seat belts and that Gray was refusing to sit still in the back of the van.
Goodson is the third of the six officers charged who have so far faced trial. Officer Edward M. Nero was acquitted of all counts in May. Officer William G. Porter is scheduled to be retried in September.
Gray’s death ignited outrage throughout the country. Last year, Philly protestors launched a “Philly is Baltimore” demonstration. Crowds are estimated to have topped 1,000 people.
Gray’s death occurred just months after the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, who was shot and killed in December of 2014 in a controversial altercation with Philadelphia police.
Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.