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Ruling Reached for Another Baltimore Cop
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Lt. Brian Rice

Summary: Another Baltimore City police officer has been reached in the case regarding the mistreatment and death of Freddie Gray.

The highest-ranking Baltimore City Police officer to be charged in the death of Freddie Gray was found not guilty of all charges. Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams found Lt. Brian Rice innocent of involuntary manslaughter, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment.

  
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See Baltimore Office Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Incident.

Rice has been fourth officer charged in the death of Gray last April. Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. His death prompted protests and violent riots last year. Two officers have been found not guilty while the trial for the third officer ended in a hung jury and ruled a mistrial.

Read Trial for Baltimore Cop in Freddie Gray Case Ends as a Mistrial.

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State senator and Democratic nominee for Baltimore mayor said, “Today Judge Barry G. Williams found Lt. Brian Rice not guilty on all criminal charges. Now that a verdict has been delivered, the city must continue to exercise patience and respect for the judicial process. Even though there will be disagreements on this outcome, we have an opportunity to continue the public dialogue around police and community interaction – it is not an easy conversation but a necessary one if we are to solve the longstanding problems that exist.”

The Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police president Gene Ryan is asking for City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby to stop the prosecution of the other three officers awaiting their day in court. “As anticipated the facts have spoken for themselves, Lt. Rice’s actions were found to be reasonable based upon the situation he and the other officers faced. …Based upon the evidence in previous trials we are certain the remaining three officers will also be found not guilty,” said Ryan.



Judge Williams had dropped two other charges against Rice early on in the case: one count of misconduct in office and an assault charge.

The focus of the case was on whether or not Rice should have put a seat belt on Gray when he placed him in the back of the transport vehicle. Judge Williams was led to ask prosecutors if the failure to restrain someone is equal to a criminal act? Chief deputy state attorney Michael Schatzow argued it was.

The trial for the fifth officer will begin later this month.

Do you think Lt. Rice should have placed the seat belt on Gray? Tell us why in the comments below.

To learn more about Freddie Gray, read Freddie Gray Family Settles with Baltimore for $6.4 Million.

Photo: leoaffairs.com



 

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