DOJ Won't Bring Federal Charges Against Baltimore Cops in Freddie Gray's Death


DOJ Won't Bring Federal Charges Against Baltimore Cops in Freddie Gray's Death

The US government has said it will not bring charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray - the latest set-back for the family of the young black man who died while in the custody of Baltimore police two years ago.

The six officers were initially charged by Maryland prosecutors after Gray's neck was broken in the back of a police transport wagon in April 2015. The 25-year-old was handcuffed and shackled at the time, but he was unrestrained by a seat belt.

Gray's death a week later sparked widespread protests against police brutality in Baltimore.

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But after a contentious trial, Lt. Brian Rice, Officer Edward Nero, and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. were acquitted of charges.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby on July 27, 2016 dropped criminal charges against White, Miller and Porter.

The Justice Department had been investigating whether the officers violated Gray's civil rights during the events leading up to his death, The Hill reported. Officer William Porter was expected to face another trial when the first one ended in a mistrial. The statement said the DOJ would continue its "independent review of this matter, assess all available materials and determine what actions are appropriate, given the strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws". He said he only wished the local prosecutor had reached the same determination "prior to any of the criminal charges being placed".

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Three, including Goodson, face firing for internal police charges, with two others facing week-long suspensions.

Five officers face internal disciplinary hearings scheduled to begin October 30.

The Justice Department and Baltimore subsequently entered into a consent decree mandating sweeping reforms to the police department.

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