The Baltimore police officers (which BW is referring to as ‘The Baltimore Six’) involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died last month after being injured in police custody, have been charged criminally, Maryland State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Friday.
On the steps of the War Memorial Building, Mosby’s announcement was greeted with cheers and applause. Mosby said she told Gray’s family that “no one is above the law and I would pursue justice upon their behalf.”
Mosby filed the charges against the Baltimore Six, immediately after receiving the medical examiner’s report Friday morning, that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, which is defined as the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder.
Reacting to news of the charges, President Barack Obama called it “absolutely vital that the truth come out.”
“What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth,” President Obama said. “That’s what people around the country expect.”
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.
Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
If convicted of all charges, Goodson would face up to 63 years in prison. Rice would face up to 30 years and Porter, Nero, Miller and White would face up to 20 years.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of all six officers around 9:30am, Mosby stated at press conference. It wasn’t immediately clear where the officers were Friday morning, or if any or all the officers have been taken into custody.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, 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,” Mosby said at the press conference. “To those who angry, hurt or have their own experiences with injustice at the hands of police officers, I urge you to channel the energies peacefully as we prosecute this case.”
While the officers being charged and arrested is a victory in itself and much more than we have seen in recent cases of police criminality across the nation, but the fight for justice is not over and pressure should not stop and the peaceful protests should not let up until each and every officer is convicted and sentenced. Anything less is just Symbolism without any Substance and should be unacceptable.
On a local note, after Detective Christian Koch and former officer Neil Vera of the Yonkers Police Department have pleaded guilty to perjury and been sentence to weekend jail, we must continue the fight to re-open the case of Dario Tena, who fell out a third floor window after a raid from a warrant that was obtained when the two former falsified search warrant affidavits for a warrant that didn’t even have Tena’s name of it. We must collective continue to apply pressure and demand DA Janet Difiore’s office to re-open the investigators and prosecute these officers.