Freddie Gray prosecutors drop charges against officers

Baltimore prosecutors end effort to convict police over the 25-year-old’s death

File photograph of protesters outside a Baltimore court house at the trial of a police officer  for his role in events that led to the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. File photograph: Michael Mathes/AFP/Getty Images

File photograph of protesters outside a Baltimore court house at the trial of a police officer for his role in events that led to the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. File photograph: Michael Mathes/AFP/Getty Images

 

Prosecutors in Baltimore on Wednesday ended their effort to prosecute the police officers involved in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, after failing to secure convictions in four earlier trials.

The decision to drop charges against the three remaining officers facing trial came on the day of a pre-trial hearing for officer Garrett Miller, whose trial was set to start on Thursday in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Baltimore city state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby had stunned the city by filing charges against six officers just days after Mr Gray’s death, from a broken neck suffered in a police van, sparked protests and rioting in April 2015.

The death of the 25-year-old was one of a series of high-profile deaths of black suspects at the hands of US police, which stoked a national debate on police tactics and the treatment of minorities.

“The decision to prosecute six police officers was not and has never been an indictment of the whole Baltimore police department,” Ms Mosby told reporters on Wednesday.

“For those that believe I’m anti-police, it’s simply not the case. I’m anti-police brutality.”

Conviction

Prosecutors last week failed in their fourth attempt to secure a conviction against a police officer in the case.

Baltimore’s police union had called on prosecutors to drop the charges against the remaining officers.

Judge Barry Williams had acquitted three officers in bench trials, and the trial of a fourth officer ended in a deadlocked jury.

A spokesman for Ms Mosby was not immediately available to comment.

Reuters