Baltimore Police Van Driver Found Not Guilty In Freddie Gray Case


Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. -who was driving the van in which Gray suffered fatal spinal cord injuries in April 2015-was found not guilty Tuesday of all 21 administrative charges that were filed against him. If he had been found guilty of even one of the charges against him, he would have faced possible termination from the department.

Freddie Gray, of course, can never get his life back, and Goodson's attorney touched on that briefly before pivoting again to celebration.

"I think the department has an obligation to take a look at the remaining charges with these officers and determine if they want to go forward based on the evidence that simply has not been put forth", Malone said.

"My son is a good son and a good officer", he said.

"This is a vindication of this officer", one of Goodson's attorneys, Sean Malone, said.

The city of Baltimore reached a $6.4 million settlement with Gray's parents to avoid litigation, but Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said his department remains committed to broader reforms, including this administrative process, with hearings pending for two more officers involved in Gray's arrest.

Others point to Gray's death and the outcome Goodson's trial board as a glaring example of why civilian input is desperately needed.

Goodson, who was the first to face a trial board in the case, was acquitted past year on second-degree depraved-heart murder charges, among others, and the panel's decision to clear him is final.

"It is appalling, yet predictable given the composition of the trial board", Dixon said.

Lawrence Grandpre, who has pushed for police trial board reforms for years as director of research for the group Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, said police accused of violating policies can appeal to a sense of solidarity with board members who also are on the force. Their trials will not be presided over by the same panel that presided over Goodson's. After Goodson and two other Baltimore officers were cleared of all wrongdoing in Gray's death, state prosecutors dropped criminal charges against the three remaining officers in the case.

Duke also argued that the officer failed to alert a medic to help Gray and that he made false statements about the timeline of the arrest to investigators.

As the Sun shares, six officers were charged criminally in the Gray case; none have been convicted. But he, Lt. Brian Rice and Officer Edward Nero were acquitted at trial past year, and then prosecutors dropped charges against Sgt. Alicia White and officers Garrett Miller and William Porter. Both Nero and Officer Garrett Miller are back at work after accepting "minor discipline" in the case while Rice and Sgt. Alicia White continue to fight their charges. Nero and Miller did, and accepted disciplinary action, according to the police union attorney who represents them.



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