Highest Ranking Officer in Freddie Gray Police Van Death Not Guilty on All Charges
A judge has acquitted Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice of all charges in the death of Freddie Gray.
Rice, 42, is the highest ranking of the six officers charged in the 2015 death of Gray, who was fatally injured in the back of a police van.
He is the fourth of the six to go on trial. Three earlier trials resulted in two acquittals and a mistrial.
Much like the court's findings in the previous acquittals, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams said the officer's "mistake" or "error in judgment" was not enough for criminal conviction, according to the Baltimore Sun's Kevin Rector.
Rice faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. A judge previously dismissed a second-degree assault charge, and prosecutors dropped a second misconduct charge.
High profile anti police brutality activist Shaun King was one of the first well-known names to react to the news Monday.
Yet another officer found not guilty in the death of #FreddieGray. The whole thing is a huge debacle.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 18, 2016
"Yet another officer found not guilty in the death of
#FreddieGray. The whole thing is a huge debacle," the activist tweeted.
Baltimore Police officer Edward Nero was found not guilty by a judge in May on all four charges filed against him in the death of Gray.
The driver of the van, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., was acquitted of second-degree murder and other charges in Gray's death in June.
The case against Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial in December.
Gray died one week after his neck was broken during a ride in the back of a police van following his arrest in April 2015. Gray was not belted into the van, which is a direct violation of police policy.
Baltimore erupted following Gray's funeral, with widespread looting, arson fires and violent confrontations with law enforcement officers, including the National Guard.