A police trial board unanimously cleared Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson of 21 administrative charges in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray that spurred riots and Black Lives Matter protests in the city, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.
Goodson, 48, who drove the police van where Gray, 25, sustained severe spinal cord injuries in April 2015, is now free to return to the city’s police force. The board’s decision about the officer, one of six involved in Gray’s police custody death, is final and cannot be challenged, the report said.
The officer faced charges for failing to secure Gray in a seat belt and neglecting to call a medic when Gray requested one. He was also accused of giving false statements to investigators.
A separate criminal trial ended with Goodson acquitted of charges including second-degree depraved-heart murder.
Gray was arrested in West Baltimore and loaded into a police van on April 12, 2015. He was found unconscious in the rear of the vehicle before he died a week later.
State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby pursued criminal charges against six police officers in Gray’s death. Aside from Goodson, officers Alicia White and Edward Nero were cleared of wrongdoing in bench trials. Mosby then dropped charges against Lt. Brian Rice and Garrett Miller.
Mosby called Tuesday’s outcome “disappointing,” but reminded residents to “not forget the significant progress” that Baltimore “has made toward criminal justice reform and police accountability” after Gray’s tragic death. Others echoed Mosby’s sentiments.
“As long as the city lets law enforcement police themselves in lieu of meaningful civilian oversight, these proceedings will not result in accountability and will fail to strengthen community trust,” Monique Dixon, deputy director of policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Two other administrative trials for Lt. Brian Rice and Alicia White are slated for Monday and December 5, respectively.
SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun
Police Van Driver Cleared Of 21 Administrative Charges In Freddie Gray Case was originally published on newsone.com