Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Disciplinary Trials Scheduled For Officers In Freddie Gray Trial

Disciplinary Trials Scheduled For Officers In Freddie Gray Trial

The decision likely forecloses any chance that the officers involved in Gray's high-profile death will face criminal consequences, though the news is not particularly surprising.

Proving civil rights violations in court is hard, with prosecutors looking into the potential Sterling case saying that officers must have acted not just recklessly but "with specific intent".

The Sun reports three of the officers face termination, which is the most severe punishment now possible locally, without a single criminal conviction in the case.

An attorney for Gray's family declined to comment for this story.

Michael Davey, who represents Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer involved in Gray's arrest, said Tuesday that his client had not received any notification from the Justice Department about being cleared.

Gray, 25, died from spinal cord injuries sustained in police custody in April 2015, sparking protests across Baltimore and a launching a federal investigation into the city's policing practices. After one mistrial and two acquittals, state attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped all the charges.

"We know that spines do not break without cause", the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement.

Baltimore officials also invited the Department of Justice to conduct a broader investigation of its police department after Gray's death, leading to a report past year saying that officers disproportionately targeted black residents for stops and arrests.

Porter had previously had a jury trial, which resulted in a hung jury and mistrial.

Five officers face internal disciplinary hearings scheduled to begin October 30. Porter is not facing any internal charges.

Last year, the Justice Department released a report detailing widespread patterns of abuse and misconduct within the Baltimore Police Department, and in January entered into a court-enforceable agreement to reform the troubled agency.

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