Breaking: Baltimore to charge cops with homicide in Freddie Gray death

Earlier today, the police acknowledged that Freddie Gray’s mortal injuries occurred after police took him into custody. A few minutes ago, the state’s attorney looking into the case announced that all six police officers involved in his arrest would face charges related to the homicide, from false arrest all the way to second-degree murder (update: video added):

City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says Freddie Gray received his critical injuries in Baltimore custody. …

“The findings of our comprehensive, thorough, and independent investigation coupled with the ME’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges.”

Warrants have been issued for all six, although Mosby couldn’t state whether any had been taken into custody at this point. This may not be the only slate of charges, either:

The charges against the officers include second-degree murder, manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office, among others.

These are Mosby’s first public comments on the case. Her announcement that her investigation had determined Gray’s death was a homicide was met with cheers from Baltimore residents, who have held protests and riots demanding justice for the 25-year-old.

Gray was arrested April 12 and died a week later from his injuries. His death has prompted calls for police reform nationwide.

Baltimore’s police commissioner said Thursday that his department had handed over confidential information on how Gray died to prosecutors. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is also working on its own independent investigation.

The DoJ could decide to sit this out given the rapid action from Baltimore and Maryland in filing charges. Don’t bet on it, though. They took a long, hard look at Ferguson and got criticized for coming up empty. They won’t want to repeat that experience, especially when the nature of the charges make it very clear that the crimes alleged took place explicitly due to abuse of authority in violation of civil rights.

Worth noting in this is that Mosby is the wife of a city councilman, and the youngest chief city prosecutor in the US at the moment:

Mosby is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, who represents areas of West Baltimore where riots erupted earlier this week. The couple have two young daughters.

“She’s my wife,” Nick Mosby told CNN on Thursday. “She’s a strong woman. She was built for this … I was at church service the other day and they were talking about being at the right place with the right person at the right time. I know her heart has always been convicted to ensure that justice will be served fairly and equally across the board.”

During the presser earlier, a reporter asked Mosby if the relationship created a conflict of interest. Not so, she responded; both her and her husband are public servants, accountable to the public. As a legislator, “he makes the laws,” Mosby said, and “I enforce them.” She also rejected calls for a special prosecutor in the case, saying that special prosecutors have no accountability, while she remains accountable to the voters in Baltimore.

Yesterday, reports emerged that one of the other prisoners in the van told police that he though Gray was trying to injure himself. Later that evening, he told reporters that he said no such thing:

“The second prisoner who was picked up said that he didn’t see any harm done to Freddie at all,” Commissioner Anthony Batts said. “What he has said is that he heard Freddie thrashing about.”

But Allen wants to set something straight.

“All I did was go straight to the station, but I heard a little banging like he was banging his head,” he said.

He tells WJZ he’s angry about an internal police report published in The Washington Post.

“And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to hisself (sic),” Allen said. “Why the [expletive] would he do that to hisself (sic)?”

Allen has some serious motivation to clarify that point, he admitted:

“I had two options today right, either come and talk to y’all and get my credibility straight with ya’ll and not get killed by these [expletive] or not tell a true story,” Allen added. “The only reason I’m doing this is because they put my name in a bad state.”

Update: NPR has the specific charges listed now:

Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.: Second degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence); misconduct in office

Officer William G. Porter: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office

Lt. Brian W. Rice: Involuntary manslaughter; two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Officer Edward M. Nero: Two counts of second degree assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Officer Garrett E. Miller: Two counts of second degree assault; two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Sgt. Alicia D. White: Involuntary manslaughter; second degree assault; misconduct in office

Only one will face charges of second-degree murder. Five overall will get charged with some sort of homicide, while the sixth will face lesser charges. It will be interesting to see the allegations which led to the variables in the indictments, but that may still take a while.