<< Mixed Result in DUI Cases | Main | News Scan >>


Freddie Gray Prosecution Implodes

| 0 Comments
Small-time Baltimore drug dealer Freddie Gray was alive when he was placed in a police van and all but dead when he came out (he died a few days later).  Six police officers, three white and three black, were charged with various crimes related to his death.

I said at the time (e.g., here, here, here and here) that the States Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, struck me as a politicized, grandstanding amateur who would be headed for trouble.  In any other context  -- that is, where the defendants were not police  --  her behavior, consisting of events indistinguishable from campaign rallies, would be scorched by civil liberties groups as unprofessional if not borderline unethical. But such groups have been quieter than the proverbial church mouse.  I guess cops aren't worthy of due process.

Here are the results so far:  In an overwhelming black and liberal city, the first officer got a mistrial.  The second got an acquittal on all counts. This morning, the third, against whom the most serious charged was lodged (negligent homicide), was likewise acquitted, also on all counts.

I have no personal knowledge of the facts of the case.  An acquittal does not mean the defendant didn't do it.  But to go to trial three straight times and get not a single count of conviction is, in my experience, nearly unprecedented.  I strongly suspect the court found this prosecution just as ill-conceived and ideological as I did and, more important for the purposes for which trials are convened, just as lacking in solid evidence of guilt.
Here is this morning's  story from the Baltimore Sun:

The Baltimore Police van driver accused of giving a "rough ride" that killed Freddie Gray was acquitted of all charges Thursday by Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 46, had faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray's arrest and death last April, including second-degree depraved heart murder. Goodson was also acquitted of three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

His acquittal, which comes after Williams considered the charges for three days, throws the rest of the cases into jeopardy. The other officers charged face similar, but lesser accusations.

Prosecutors alleged Goodson had five chances to render aid to Gray after his neck was broken in the back of the van, which they said demonstrated a "depraved heart."

They also said Goodson was the direct cause of the injuries, driving the van in a reckless manner that threw him in the back of the van's steel cage, shackled but unrestrained by a seat belt. As a certified field training officer, prosecutors said Goodson knew Police Department rules and broke them....

Williams said the state offered theories that were not backed by evidence. "The court cannot simply let things speak for themselves," he said in his ruling.

He called "rough ride" an "inflammatory term" that is "not to be taken lightly," and said prosecutors didn't prove it at all.

Anyone waiting for this half-baked prosecutor to resign in the disgrace she has earned will, I predict, be waiting a long time. Being a friend of Black Lives Matter means never having to say you're sorry.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives