Baltimore Police Officer Goodson Acquitted of All Charges

The Baltimore Sun reports that Officer Ceasar Goodson Jr., who faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, has been acquitted of all charges.

Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., 46, had faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray’s arrest and death last April, including second-degree depraved heart murder. Goodson was also acquitted of three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

Freddie Gray was 25 years old when he suffered a fatal spinal injury while in the back of the police van driven by Goodson.

Goodson opted for a bench trial before Circuit Judge Barry Williams. Judge Williams said the timeline of Gray’s injuries remains unclear, and the state “failed to meet its burden” to present enough evidence to back its assertions. “As the trier of fact, the court can’t simply let things speak for themselves,” stated Judge Williams.

Judge Williams repeatedly cited the testimony of the prosecution’s medical witnesses that Gray’s injuries would have been progressive, and that he could have talked, moved his head and held himself up at various points along the transport.

Judge Williams stated;

“This injury manifested itself internally. That is one of the key issues here. If the doctors are not clear as to what would be happening at this point in time, how would the average person or officer without medical training know?”

Judge Williams repeatedly mentioned the higher burden to prove criminal negligence, compared to civil negligence.

The city has already paid out a $6.4 million civil settlement to Gray’s family.

To paraphrase, Freddie Gray died because his spine was injured and the injury progressed during the time he was on the van, severing it 80 percent by the time that the van arrived at the police station.   However, because the break was progressive, the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt who was responsible for getting Gray medical attention when the break was 10 percent, 20 percent, 50 percent, etc.  Thus, no one will be held criminally accountable for Freddie’s death.

Judge Williams sees Goodson’s actions as civil negligence. Since the family has already been paid a settlement for Freddie’s death, Judge Williams is not going to find any of the 8 officers guilty of criminal negligence.

This is how Freddie’s family last saw him in 2015

bs-hs-gray-injuries-20150420

This is how Kendrick Johnson’s family last saw him in 2013

kendrick-johnson-graphic-im

This is how Kelly Thomas’ family last saw him in 2011

kelly-thomas-before-and-after -2

This is how Emmett Till’s family last saw him in 1955

newspaper-emmett-till

In all cases, no one was held accountable for their deaths.

Posted on 06/23/2016, in Cases, civil rights, Freddy Gray, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. “This country has to answer to God.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    My heart aches for Freddie Gray and his loved ones. I admire Marilyn Mosley’s courageous effort to seek justice for Freddie Gray.

    Judge Williams stated;

    “This injury manifested itself internally. That is one of the key issues here. If the doctors are not clear as to what would be happening at this point in time, how would the average person or officer without medical training know?”

    Very weak statement by judge. A high percentage of injuries manifest themselves internally. THAT IS WHY police need to listen to an injured person medical complaint and get a medic when they are requested to do so.

    Freddie Gray’s medical condition worsened because his request for a medic was ignored and his time in the van was extended in order to pick up another arrestee.

    From May 1, 2015 transcript of Marilyn Mosley’s statement:

    Mr. Gray at that time requested help and indicated that he could not breathe. Officer Porter asked Mr. Gray if he needed a medic at which time Mr. Gray indicated at least twice that he was in need of a medic. Officer Porter then physically assisted Mr. Gray from the floor of the van to the bench however despite Mr. Gray’s appeal for a medic, both officers assessed Mr. Gray’s condition and at no point did either of them restrain Mr. Gray per BPD general order nor did they render or request medical assistance.

    http://time.com/3843870/marilyn-mosby-transcript-freddie-gray/

    We have a lot of work to do. We are not helpless or powerless. We CAN bring about change for the better. I will keep advocating and pushing for that change. I will use all the feelings I have felt over this verdict to inspire and fuel my effort to advocate for justice and equality.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yahtzee,
      It’s another example of judicial nullification. Judge Williams has set a pattern for other judges to use in future cases. Can you see a defense team arguing that a person who died from being tazed suffered “internal injuries” that the officers could not see and therefore, should not be held accountable for causing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        I am beginning to understand the term “judicial nullification” much better now.

        This has to stop. I just can’t believe the excuse of “unseen internal injuries” to keep people from being held accountable. Totally illogical excuse when someone has requested medical help.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Jammed pack information in the following video.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is a travesty … it confirms once again that the justice system is broken! Everything seems to be “fixed” with money!
    “No one held accountable” …. a disgrace!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It is no wonder that prosecutors with half a conscience do not like to file charges against police officers. The system is rigged against prevailing in having the charges stick. How can people ever have faith in justice being done?.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Gronda,
      Your question is excellent. When I began blogging in 2012, I had a certain measure of trust in the judicial system to gather the facts and apply them to the law. I mean, that is what people in the legal profession are taught — that judges and juries apply the facts to the law. My view is changing.

      So Freddie Gray suffered an injury while in the custody of the police, and the injury progressed to be fatal while in the custody of the police, but Judge Williams decided in two cases now that the officers are civility responsible and not criminally responsible. Killing has now become a civil matter.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Two sides to a story

        The implications of police not having to take responsibilty for their actions is chilling. There is always personal karmic justice over the long run, of course, but this lopsidedness in law enforcement and the judicial system just breeds more excuses and greater tyranny.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Dr. Stein agrees with some of our observations — that the injury to Freddie’s spine happened before he was placed in the van.

    Liked by 1 person

    • show trial pure and simple……the prosecution made charges they could NOT ever possibly prove……instead of what clearly happened, Gray had his neck broken by a KNEE to the back of his neck, was screaming in pain and begging for medical care and NONE was given……

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Bill,

        “Gray had his neck broken by a KNEE to the back of his neck, was screaming in pain and begging for medical care and NONE was given……”

        Everyone appears to see that other than the prosecutors.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. NavyDad0007

    This post Got me straight in the Heart Xena

    Liked by 4 people

  8. NavyDad0007

    Reblogged this on neonthegreat132321's Blog and commented:
    Powerful

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Attorney: Freddie Gray’s family frustrated, wants future trials broadcast on television”
    http://bsun.md/28TltHE

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yahtzee,
      They should be live streamed. All trials involving law enforcement defendants should be live streamed. Citizens can then learn from the proceedings.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. What seems to elude people is the fact that Freddie Gray was arrested for NO reason. How can no one be held accountable for a man dying in police custody after having been arrested for NO reason? Freddie Gray committed no crime and was arrested for committing no crime and so that right there is a crime in and of itself; arresting a man who had committed no crime and while he was under arrest, injuries that resulted in his illegal and unlawful unrest, caused his death and no one is guilty? This is beyond ridiculous!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey Shelby and welcome aboard! Thanks for your comment. In the beginning of this case, the prosecutor brought up that Freddie was unlawfully arrested. I don’t think that became a charge because unlawful arrest is a civil action under violation of civil rights.

      What I’m seeing in Judge Williams’ decisions is that the city has compensated Freddie’s family for lost of “property” and will not hold the “masters” accountable for destroying the property.

      Like

  11. Once again, the concept of Justice has failed because the murderers wear badges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John,
      It certainly appears that way. We saw the judge in New York change the charge in order to sentence an officer convicted of manslaughter to no jail time. Now we’ve seen twice where Judge Williams has decided that the fact that Freddie stopped breathing while in police custody does not qualify for holding anyone responsible for the fatal injury he received. Death is now a civil matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. They have to know things just don’t add up, surely!

    Like

  1. Pingback: Baltimore Police Officer Goodson Acquitted of All Charges | The Secular Jurist

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