Last week in Baltimore, a judge cleared Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. of all charges in the death of Freddie Gray last year, dealing another major blow to prosecutors. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby is now 0-3 in convicting the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.
Goodson Jr. was the van driver that fateful day, and he was facing the most serious charges, including depraved-heart murder. The second-degree felony is used when a defendant displayed a depraved indifference to the effects of their actions, and prosecutors accused Goodson Jr. of giving Gray a “rough ride” the day he died. On top of that, Goodson Jr. was accused of failing to help Gray five separate times, including failing to secure his seat belt prior to his fatal spinal injury.
Yet Judge Barry Williams disagreed, writing in his ruling that the prosecution failed to prove that a rough ride occurred that day. Judge Williams also acquitted Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero of charges earlier this year, and Nero testified in Goodson Jr.’s defense.
“In order for there to be a conviction, the state must show, not that the defendant failed to do an act required by the duties of his office, but that the defendant corruptly failed to do an act required by the duties of his office,” Williams wrote.
It was the latest blow to Mosby, who is now facing pressure to abandon the rest of the Gray trials. Mosby was called a hero by many klonopin online order activists when she announced charges against six police officers. But with three trials concluded and still no convictions to show for it, Mosby is now on the defensive.
“This is their Waterloo. This is their Gettysburg,” attorney Warren A. Brown, a harsh critic of Mosby, told The Baltimore Sun. “She is virtually persona non grata in the white community, and her support is waning in the black community and will continue to wane if she continues to lose these cases.”
The death of Gray caused protests around the country, and was just one of several high-profile cases of black Americans dying while in police custody after extremely questionable, possibly illegal, arrests. On any given day, 60% of the Americans in jails have not been convicted of a crime, but are merely waiting for their day in court.
In a statement released on Twitter, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wrote:
“Today Judge Barry G. Williams found Officer Caesar Goodson not guilty of all criminal charges. Officer Goodson was facing the most serious charges of the six officers charged in the case. Now that the criminal case has come to an end, Officer Goodson will face an administrative review by the Police Department. We once again ask the citizens to be patient and to allow the entire process to come to a conclusion.”
— Mayor Rawlings-Blake (@MayorSRB) June 23, 2016