On Wednesday morning, prosecutors from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office dropped all of the charges against the last three officers expected to go to trial for the death of Freddie Gray. The decision was made after the acquittal of three officers in the past three months.
Last year, amid city-wide protests for police accountability sparked by Gray’s arrest and fatal van ride, Marilyn Mosby shocked the country by charging six officers for the 25-year-old’s death. At the time, she was viewed as a champion of change.
“To the youth of the city. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment,” Mosby said, when she announced the charges in May 2015. “Let’s ensure we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now.”
But prosecutors failed to score convictions for four out of six officers, including two arresting officers, one of whom failed to secure Gray’s seat belt, and the van driver who received the harshest charges for ignoring Gray when he showed signs of medical distress and failed to secure the belt. Last year, Officer William Porter’s trial ended with a hung jury. Prosecutors vowed to take Porter back to court, but his charges were dropped along with those of Officers Garrett Miller and Alicia Sgt. Alicia White.
Prosecutors announced their decision during a hearing for Garret Miller’s trial.
During a press conference held near the location of Gray’s arrest, Mosby criticized the police “bias” that informed every part of the investigation and trial process. “There was a reluctance and obvious bias that was consistently exemplified…by individuals within the Baltimore Police Department,” she said. According to the chief prosecutor, interrogations were not thorough, detectives were uncooperative, and key evidence was given to defense attorneys months before it was given to prosecutors. “This system is in need of reform when it comes to police accountability.”
“We could try this case 100 times and cases like it, and we would end up with the same result,” Mosby said of her decision to drop the remaining charges.
Freddie Gray’s father closed the press conference by emphasizing his support for those who worked on the case. “We are very proud of the prosecutors who handled the case and did the best to their ability,” he said. “We stand behind Marilyn and her prosecuting team.”