Caesar Goodson Jr. faced the most serious charges among the six officers indicted.
A Baltimore jury has found Caesar Goodson Jr., the officer who was driving the van that Freddie Gray was injured in, not guilty on all charges.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Goodson had been charged with three counts of manslaughter, second-degree depraved heart murder, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. He faced the most charges out of the six officer indicted.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Goodson drove the van in a reckless manner—a “rough ride”—that caused Gray’s fatal spinal injuries and went against police safety protocol. However, attorneys for Goodson say that Goodson was unaware of any injuries. Furthermore, they alleged that the injuries occurred later in the ride—not allowing officers a chance to assist—when Gray attempted to stand up.
Judge Barry Williams said that prosecutors’ theories were unconfirmed.
“The court cannot simply let things speak for themselves,” Williams said.
A Comprehensive Timeline of the Freddie Gray Tragedy
Gray died on April 19, 2015, one week after he was arrested for allegedly possessing an illegal switchblade. He was placed in the back of a police van. State investigators say that he was not properly buckled in, causing him severe injuries and severing his spinal cord. Once officers saw the extent of Gray’s injuries, he was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
Six officers have been charged in Gray’s death. One trial was declared a mistrial while the other officer was cleared of all charges.
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