Prosecutors here, in an unexpected announcement, said Friday they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.
In a news conference, the state’s attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. Time and again, she said, officers abused him, arresting him without grounds and violating police procedure by putting him in handcuffs and leg restraints in the van without putting a seatbelt on him.
Ms. Mosby also said the officers had repeatedly failed to seek medical attention for Mr. Gray after he was injured. By the time he was removed from the van, she said, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.”
“We have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Ms. Mosby said.
The death, Ms. Mosby said, is believed to be the result of an injury Mr. Gray sustained while riding in the van without a seatbelt.
Ms. Mosby also said that the knife the police say Mr. Gray was carrying had not been a legitimate basis for his arrest. “The knife was not a switchblade, and it is lawful,” she said. She said the officers had “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest.”
As she announced the charges at the War Memorial here, there was cheering from people in the crowd. Dozens of police officers dressed in riot gear stood nearby after days of unrest in the city.
Ms. Mosby said six officers were being charged, one with second-degree murder. She said warrants had been issued for the their arrests; she said she did not know if anyone was in custody.
We are in for stormy times.
Lord, help us heal, mend and find justice as You define it.