Baltimore Police Officers Indicted for Freddie Gray Death Plead Not Guilty
The in-custody death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray has triggered protests across the city, as onlookers and investigators question whether police brutality had a role in the young man’s demise. Shortly after the incident, which took place in April, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby conducted an investigation that ultimately led to the indictment of six Baltimore police officers involved in Gray’s arrest, who now face charges ranging from second-degree depraved-heart murder to reckless endangerment and involuntary manslaughter.
Mosby’s office issued a statement on June 30, stating that all six officers have entered pleas of not guilty. A pretial motions hearing is scheduled to take place on September 2, and the trial is slated for October 13, 2015.
Baltimore officers enter not guilty pleas, await trial in October
According to a report from the Baltimore Sun, a medical examiner determined that Freddie Gray suffered a “high-energy injury,” presumably caused when the police van he was placed in braked abruptly. Gray, who had a prior history of drug-related arrests, was detained on April 12, in a high-crime area of Baltimore after officers say that he unexpectedly fled after making eye contact. None of the defendants admit to using excessive force during the arrest, but Gray died of severe spinal cord injuries just seven days after being placed in a police van.
After a short chase on foot, Gray surrendered to the police, and while lying prone and handcuffed on the ground asked for medical assistance claiming he could not breathe. Mosby says that medical attention was not provided by the officers at the time. Eyewitnesses and camera footage obtained from bystanders confirms that Gray was able-bodied when he was dragged into the van, which made several stops en route to the station. When Gray was taken out of the van, he was completely unresponsive.
Mosby says that Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving the police van, first stopped on Baker Street, where the 25-year-old Gray was taken out of the van by the three officers who had arrested him. At that time, Mosby says the police put leg shackles on his ankles and flex cuffs on his wrists and completed paperwork before returning Gray to the van, with his stomach on the floor.
Questions remain about the legality of the arrest, since officers say the found a pocket knife on Gray’s person after he was detained. They eventually charged him with possessing a switchblade, which is illegal in Baltimore; Mosby countered that the knife was legal under Maryland state law.
NY police brutality lawyers
As veteran NY police brutality lawyers, The Sanders Firm is closely watching the outcome of this tragic case, which may have bearing on the national debate on brutality and excessive force used by officers of the law. With concrete evidence of how Gray died still undisclosed, many in the Baltimore community still believe he may have been falsely arrested, without probable cause.
When an officer goes too far and steps out of the bounds of their authority through physical abuse, inappropriate force or placing one under false arrest, this is a violation of your civil rights. The Sanders Firm offers free and confidential legal consultations to help determine whether compensation may be sought for serious personal injury or death resulting from police brutality.
To learn more about filing a NYPD misconduct lawsuit, we invite you to call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.
- Fox News, All 6 Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray case plead not guilty, state says http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/06/23/all-6-baltimore-police-officers-charged-in-freddie-gray-case-plead-not-guilty/
- The Baltimore Sun, Six Baltimore Police officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-freddie-gray-officer-indictments-20150521-story.html#page=1