Activists angry over decision to drop charges

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby center speaks during a news conference Wednesday after her office dropped remaining charges against the three Baltimore police officers who were still awaiting trial in Freddie Gray' death. Third from

Activists angry over decision to drop charges

On Wednesday morning, prosecutors dropped all charges against the three remaining officers accused of the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray while in Baltimore police custody, the Baltimore Sun reports. The State will therefore secure no convictions in Gray's case, in which the 25-year-old suffered severe spinal injuries while in police custody, and died a week later. His death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, set off massive protests and led to the city's worst riots in decades.

The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver who the state considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group. A mistrial was declared for a fourth officer when a jury deadlocked. The Baltimore Sun said his death initially sparked widespread, peaceful protests against police brutality, but then rioting broke out in the city after Gray's funeral.

"The detectives assigned to the case conducted a very thorough investigation into the tragic death of Freddie Gray, but the State's Attorney simply could not accept the evidence", Ryan said. She also accused investigators of creating notes after the case was launched to contradict the medical examiner's conclusion that Gray's death was a homicide.

In previous trials, the prosecution failed to convince the judge that officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson, and Lieutenant Brian Ricewere abandoned police protocol when they didn't put Gray in a seatbelt in the back of the police van, and that that decision had caused his death.

Prosecutors also sought to have the officers testify against each other, even though some of them had not yet been tried. The new policy clarified the definition of excessive force and requires officers to step in and notify a supervisor if they witness a fellow officer mistreating a suspect.

She declined to take questions, citing a lawsuit that the officers have filed against her.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, said in a CNN interview that she was surprised by the defiance of Mosby.

Gene Ryan, president of Baltimore's police union, called Mosby's comments "outrageous".

Prosecutors had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital. Sergeant White and Officer Porter faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment. But she said she had no choice given the realities of the case - including the lack of an independent investigatory agency to help prosecutors and the officers' right to opt for bench trials. Six officers, three white and three black, were charged in Gray's death. So far, trials for four of the officers have led to three acquittals and a mistrial.

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