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Baltimore prosecutor and State Attorney General Marilyn Mosby sparked outrage when the second acquittal in the Freddie Gray case was made public on May 23, 2016. Around noon that day, the publication “American Thinker” stated, “Judge Barry G. Williams motioned that the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt against officer Edward Nero. The burden of proof was not achievable in court, resulting in an acquittal based on narrow grounds.”
On April 9, 2015, Gray, a 25-year-old resident of Baltimore, was detained roughly by Baltimore police officers and thrown into a police van, as captured on cellphone video by a witness. Gray died a week after his encounter with law enforcement officials. Prosecutors alleged that the officers involved could not have properly seated Gray in the van for the ride to the police station, because the seatbelt provided in the police van had been unused. Several of the officers involved testified that Gray was not in a seatbelt for the duration of the ride.
Mosby’s intent to prosecute the six officers involved in the arrest and transport of Gray was in response to the riots and other forms of violent acts against Maryland police officers. After being in office as Attorney General for four months, the pressure from the community to take action against the Baltimore Police Department and the perceived police brutality was tremendous. Despite the prosecutor’s immediate action, four of the six cases have been unsuccessful, partly due to the lack of physical evidence.
Sparks of outrage spread among Baltimore protestors as the prosecutor failed to make a conviction once again. According to CBS Local: “On June 23, 2016, around 10:30 a.m. PST, Judge Barry concluded that the case against Officer Goodson lacks substantial evidence, and Goodson would not have known of any injuries Gray endured during the ride until he reached his destination.” Judge Barry declared that Police Officer Ceasar Goodson, 46, was not guilty of:
- Reckless endangerment
- Misconduct in office
- Depraved heart murder
On May 2, 2016, Sergeant Alicia White and Officer William Porter filed court documentation to proceed with a lawsuit against the State Attorney General. White and Porter were two of six police officials accused of involuntary manslaughter due to being present during the arrest and fatal transport of Gray to the Baltimore Police Station. It is unconfirmed if any of the other individuals involved will pursue a lawsuit against Mosby as well.
The “Baltimore Sun” has followed the prosecutor throughout the Gray case and warned the public that random sparks of outrage would occur within the community during the trials. Many people around the United States are concerned about the final verdicts in the Gray case and are following it on mobile news applications and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The Baltimore Police Department has vocalized their view of Mosby and has chosen to support fellow police officers. As the trials for the other officers involved commence, Baltimore police officials have expressed their concern with keeping the streets safe during these trying times.
Opinion by Jhayla D.Tyson
American Thinker: Baltimore Police Officer Acquitted in Gray Case on Narrow Grounds
NY Times: 2 Trials and No Convictions put Top Baltimore Prosecutor in a Bind
CBS Local: Freddie Gray van Driver Found Not Guilty on All Charges
The Baltimore Sun: Two Officers in Freddie Gray Case Sue Marilyn Mosby for Defamation
WBLA TV: How Will Officer Edward Nero Verdict Impact Other Officers Trials?
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Maryland National Guard’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inline Image Courtesy of Arash Azizzada’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second and Third Inline Image Courtesy of SocialJusticeSeeker812’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons