By Pamela Wood
The Baltimore Sun
The six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray – who died last month after being injured in police custody – have been charged criminally, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday.
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.
Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
Mosby’s announcement was greeted with cheers and applause. She said she told Gray’s family that “no one is above the law.”
Gray, 25, was chased down and arrested by Baltimore officers on April 12 and died a week later. His family has said he suffered a spinal cord injury and a crushed voice box.
After bystander video of the arrest surfaced, showing Gray dragging his feet as he was put in a police transport van, there have been cries for charges against the officers
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Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray’s death, and so they appeal for order.
Jim Bourg / Reuters
TA-NEHISI COATES APR 27, 2015
Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city’s publicly appointed guardians of order. And yet the mayor of that city and the commissioner of that city’s police still have no idea what happened. I suspect this is not because the mayor and police commissioner are bad people, but because the state of Maryland prioritizes the protection of police officers charged with abuse over the citizens who fall under its purview.
The citizens who live in West Baltimore, where the rioting began, intuitively understand this. I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today’s riots began. My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution. People write these feelings off as wholly irrational at their own peril, or their own leisure. The case against the Baltimore police, and the society that superintends them, is easily made:
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By LAWRENCE BROWN PublishedAPRIL 9, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Another white police officer has shot and killed yet another black person—this time it’s Walter Scott, who was killed by now-former officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina. As the body count of black lives and level of trauma inflicted on the black community continue to climb, we are confronted with a critical question: Why do the police keep shooting and killing unarmed black men and women?
American history reveals that black people’s relationship with the police has been one of attempted subjugation since the birth of the nation. Whether slave patrols or the Black Codes, whether the 3,959 lynchings of Black people between 1877 and 1950 or a neo-slavery system of convict leasing, the history of American policing is replete with the message that black lives don’t matter.
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