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6 Baltimore police officers charged in death of Freddie Gray

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (BNO NEWS) -- Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Friday, saying that Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury after being placed handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained inside the back of a police van.

"The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the Medical Examiner's determination that Mr. Gray's death was a homicide, which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges," Mosby said at a press conference, prompting cheers from onlookers.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., the driver of the van that transported Gray, was charged with second degree depraved heart murder, as well as charges for involuntary manslaughter, assault in the second degree, manslaughter by vehicle as a result of gross negligence, manslaughter by vehicle as a result of criminal negligence, and misconduct in office. He could face up to 63 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Mosby provided the most detailed account yet of what prosecutors allege is what happened on April 12, when Gray was arrested on a weapons charge. The State's Attorney said Gray ran away after making eye contact with two officers, prompting a foot pursuit that led to Gray's arrest a short time later. Gray was found to be carrying a knife in his pocket that is not illegal to carry in Baltimore.

"Lt. Rice, Officer Miller and Officer Nero failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Grey's arrest as no crime had been committed by Mr. Grey. Accordingly, Lt. Rice, Officer Miller and Officer Nero illegally arrested Mr. Grey," the prosecutor told reporters.

Gray, with his hands cuffed behind his back, was later placed on the floor of a police van and was not secured by a seatbelt as required by a Baltimore Police general order, and officers later stopped to put leg irons on Gray. "Following transport from Baker Street, Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon," Mosby said.

The officers made several stops during transport but allegedly failed to provide aid, even when Gray did not respond. A medic was later called to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District after officers determined that Gray was unconscious, but he died days later as a result of a severe spinal cord injury.

Lt. Brian Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and one count of false imprisonment, while Officer William Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office. Officer Edward Nero and Officer Garrett Miller both face two counts of second degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and one count of false imprisonment.

The sixth officer, Sgt. Alicia White, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and misconduct in office.

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