All six police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray are being charged criminally for his death.
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the charges in a press conference this morning if front of the War Memorial building near City Hall, as more than 100 reporters took notes, video, and photos.
Officer Caesar R. Goodson, who drove the wagon in which an un-seat-belted Gray was mortally injured, was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Sgt. Alicia D. White, the second-highest-ranking officer on the scene, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Activists at the edges of the press scrum applauded when Mosby announced the criminal charges after providing the most detailed breakdown of the events leading to Gray's death yet made public.
"These charges I have announced are a matter of public record," the state's attorney said. She emphasized that all of the officers are innocent until proven guilty.
"I heard your call for 'no justice, no peace.' Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man . . . I urge you to channel the energy peacefully as we prosecute this case."
Mosby said the evidence underlying the charges would not be released in order to protect the integrity of the judicial process, and she admonished the leaks from police sources of parts of the investigation.
As news of the charges spread, people cheered, car horns honked, and some said the charges were just a small first step toward justice. Jay Morrison, of the YMC Community Coalition, stood behind the swarm of press with a megaphone, pleading for empathy with the African-American community. "You see it now . . . this is the black experience. This is what we go through," he said. "The American people and global citizens have to awaken and come to the realization and rally with the African-American community."
Warrants were issued this morning for all six officers, Mosby said. Goodson, 45, who joined the department in 1999, faces the most charges. Along with the "depraved heart murder" charge, which is a charge more typically used in hit-and-run vehicular homicide cases, he faces manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence), and misconduct in office.
Alicia D. White, 30, who joined the department in 2010, faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault, and misconduct in office.
Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, 41 and a city cop since 1997, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and false imprisonment.
Officer William G. Porter, 25 and a city cop since 2012, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, and misconduct.
Officer Edward M. Nero, 29, and Officer Garrett E. Miller, 26, both of whom joined the department in 2012, face two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and one count of false imprisonment.
Mosby detailed what happened in the 45 minutes between Gray's initial eye contact with police the morning of April 12 to his arrival at the hospital. She noted that the knife the officers found in Gray's pocket was not a switchblade and isn't illegal in Maryland, and that the officers illegally arrested Gray with no probable cause.
Mosby described officer Goodson's multiple stops to check on Gray, and noted that at one point officer Porter asked Gray if he needed help, and "Mr. Gray indicated, at least twice, that he was in need of a medic," but "at no point, did either of [the officers] restrain Mr. Gray per the General Orders, nor did they render or request medical assistance."
She described the officers' conduct as "grossly negligent" and described how they escorted the second passenger who was in the wagon into the Western District police station before attending to Gray. At this point, Gray was in cardiac arrest and was no longer breathing, so he was rushed to Shock Trauma. The Maryland State Medical Examiner called his death a homicide due to his injuries while unrestrained in the wagon.