Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Wednesday she stands by her decision to charge six officers in connection with Freddie Gray's death; however, she felt she had no choice but to drop charges against the remaining officers facing trial. Three had been acquitted earlier. "We do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself. We stand by the medical examiner's determination that Freddie Gray's death was a homicide.
However, after much thought and prayer, it has become clear to me that — without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether our cases proceed in front of a judge or a jury, without communal oversight of policing in this community, without real, substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system — we could try this case 100 times, and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result."
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby slammed the way police handled their investigation into Freddie Gray's death. "There were individual police officers that were witnesses to the case, yet were part of the investigative team, interrogations that were conducted without asking the most poignant questions, lead detectives that were completely uncooperative and started a counter-investigation to disprove the state's case," Mosby said.
"For those that believe that I'm anti-police, it's simply not the case. I'm anti-police brutality. And I need not remind you that the only loss — and the greatest loss — in all of this was that of Freddie Gray's life," Mosby told reporters Wednesday after prosecutors announced they were dropping charges. "My office has never wavered in our commitment to seeking justice on his behalf," she added. Prosecutors are dropping charges against the three remaining Baltimore police officers facing trial in connection with Freddie Gray's death.
Gray, then 25, died after sustaining a neck injury while in police custody in April 2015. Three of the six officers charged in the case had already been acquitted. A pretrial hearing for Officer Garrett Miller had been set for Wednesday. Trials for Officers Alicia White and William Porter had been scheduled for the fall.
Baltimore Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow made the request to drop charges against them in court Wednesday. Three officers were acquitted in the case: Edward Nero, a bike officer involved in the initial police encounter with Gray; Caesar Goodson, who drove the van that transported Gray; and Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in connection with Gray's death.
A retrial against Porter had been scheduled after a jury deadlocked in the case against him in December. Gray's death became a symbol of the black community's mistrust of police and triggered days of protests and riots in Baltimore. The city became a focal point of the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide debate on excessive police force.
Wednesday's announcement comes more than a year after Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the officers would be charged. Her statements drew praise from some who admired how swiftly she took on the case, and criticism from others who said there wasn't enough evidence to convict the officers.