A grand jury indicted six Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, almost a month after State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she would pursue criminal charges against the officers.
Freddie Gray, a 25-year old black man, died on April 19, one week after suffering spinal injuries in police custody that sparked weeklong protests in the city after his funeral.
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced the decision on Thursday afternoon where heaviest of charges including a count of second-degree depraved murder against Officer Caesar R. Goodson, driver of the van that carried Gray after his arrest.
“These past two weeks, my team has been presenting evidence to a grand jury that just today returned indictments against all six officers," Mosby said.
Freddie Gray’s death was the last ring in the chain of black men killed in the hands of the police after the cases in Missouri, New York and South Carolina among others since last year.
After his funeral on April 27, angry protesters took it to the streets, which turned violent as they looted and burned buildings in the first day of demonstrations, that lasted for a week.
Mosby’s announcement on May 1 that she would press charges against the involved police officers calmed the protests down, yet drew criticism from the police department, which claimed she acted with prejudice and rushed into judgement.
Despite criticisms, charges in the jury indictment largely aligned with 35-year old African American prosecutor’s demands.
Three officers, Lieutenant Brian Rice, Sergeant Alicia White and Officer William Porter were charged with manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment.
Officer Edward Nero and Officer Garret Miller both face assault and reckless endangerment charges.
Jury only rejected indictment on false imprisonment charges for officers Rice and Nero, which Mosby initially demanded.
Freddie Gray died of spinal injuries he suffered on the way to police station in a police van as “a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained” after his arrest.
Mosby claimed police officers repeatedly ignored Gray’s call for help, which constituted main basis for criminal charges.