Police Driver in Freddie Gray Case Is Acquitted

Officer Caesar Goodson found not guilty on all charges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2016 10:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2016 11:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Baltimore cop who faced the most serious charges related to the death of Freddie Gray has been acquitted of all charges, reports WJZ. Officer Caesar Goodson was driving the police van in which Gray was riding the day he died, and Goodson faced charges including "second-degree depraved heart murder," among others. He opted to have his case heard only by a judge, not a jury, and Judge Barry Williams found him not guilty Thursday morning after three days of deliberation. Four other officers still face their own trials in the case—one of those will be a retrial following a hung jury, while a sixth officer implicated was acquitted—but the Goodson ruling "throws the rest of the cases into jeopardy," reports the Baltimore Sun.

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Prosecutors accused Goodson of deliberately giving the 25-year-old Gray a "rough ride," one that resulted in a broken neck, and failing on five occasions to give the unbuckled prisoner proper medical attention. But "the state failed to prove the defendant knew or should have known that Mr. Gray needed medical care," the judge said, per AP. "Unlike in a shooting or a stabbing, or a car accident, this injury [a broken neck] manifests itself internally," he said. "If the doctors weren't clear, how would a person without medical training know?" Williams also said the "rough ride" claim wasn't proven by the state. Outside the courthouse, protesters chanted, "We can't stop. We won't stop, till killer cops are in cell blocks." (Read more Freddie Gray stories.)

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