There will be no federal charges brought against the six Baltimore police officers who were responsible for the deplorable treatment of Freddie Gray, while in police custody, that resulted in his eventual death.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died painfully from a severe spinal injury on April 19, 2015, a week after being arrested by police following a foot chase in his neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester. Gray suffered spinal injuries while being transported in the back of a police van, without a seat belt, but with his hands and feet shackled. Gray’s death spurred weeks of protests and rioting in the city.
State prosecutors charged all six officers involved, though three of them were acquitted and all remaining charges for the other three officers were dropped by Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby. However, five of those policemen will still face internal disciplinary hearings. The DOJ held off on filing charges, pending an investigation to determine whether or not Gray’s civil rights had been violated in the events leading to his death.
The Justice Department released a report last year detailing rampant patterns of abuse and negligible misconduct within the Baltimore Police Department. In January, BPD went into a court-enforceable agreement to reform the department.
Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers social injustice and political issues. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com