Baltimore Police Officer in Freddie Gray Case Found Not Guilty on All Charges

Caesar Goodson is the second of three officers to be cleared of charges in Gray’s death.

AP

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Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore police officer facing the most serious charges in the death of 27-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody last April, was found not guilty on all charges by a judge on Thursday morning. Goodson had faced charges of second-degree “depraved heart” murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Prosecutors had argued that Goodson, who drove the police van in which Gray sustained his fatal injuries, was responsible for fastening Gray’s seatbelt but did not. And they alleged that Gray’s neck injury occurred after Goodson deliberately drove around in a reckless manner while Gray was handcuffed, shackled at the legs, and unrestrained by a belt—what’s known in law enforcement as a “rough ride.” They also argued that Goodson had five opportunities to get Gray medical attention after his injury occurred. But Goodson’s attorneys countered that he deferred to the judgment of the officers who had helped to put Gray in the van, none of whom fastened his seatbelt or took Gray’s initial request for medical attention seriously (Gray said he had injured his leg). They also argued that Gray’s neck injury—the one that proved fatal—occurred later in the ride, leaving fewer opportunities for Goodson to attend to it. Explaining his ruling, Judge Barry Williams said that Gray’s neck injury had “manifested itself internally,” so it would not have been evident to the average person.

Goodson was the third of six officers to face trial in Gray’s death. Officer William Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial in December; officer Edward Nero was found not guilty by Judge Williams last month. At least two officers charged in Gray’s death, including Porter, have sued Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby for defamation. Two more officers’ are scheduled to to stand trial in July, while Porter’s retrial is scheduled for September. The final officers’ trial will start in October.

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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