Federal prosecutors will not charge six Baltimore police officers in Freddie Gray's death, according to a breaking news report from the Asscoiated Press.
The Department of Justice has been investigating the case since 2015, when Gray, a 25-year-old, black Baltimore resident, died of injuries he sustained while in police custody. After being confronted by law enforcement and arrested for having a switchblade knife, Gray was placed in the back of a police van. At some point in the ride, Gray fell over, hitting his head, breaking his neck, and damaging his spinal cord — injuries that led to his death.
The city of Baltimore erupted in a week of riots over the incident. Six of the officers involved in Gray's arrest were charged — one, Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the van, with depraved heart murder — by Baltimore prosecutors, but none of the officers were convicted.
The DOJ began looking into the case in 2015, at the behest of Baltimore authorities. But two-and-a-half years later, the DOJ says it could find no evidence that Gray's civil rights were violated during the arrest, and while officer conduct might have been reckless — they make no judgment on the subject — none of the officers had the "specific intent" required for the DOJ to press charges.
The DOJ did not look into the criminality of any individual officer's conduct. The DOJ did, however, conduct a review of the Baltimore Police Department, and found that BPD officers did disproportionately target black individuals when conducting traffic stops and searches.
And although the six officers won't face federal charges, at least five will face internal discipline. Goodson, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White will face a hearing later this month that will determine if they should be fired from the force. The remaining two officers could face several days suspension without pay.