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Officers Involved In The Death of Freddie Gray Charged In Administrative Action

Freddie Gray

On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was taken into custody by Baltimore police officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller.  Freddie sustained a spinal injury in a police van ride and died on April 19, 2015.  Officer Ceasar Goodson was driving the van.

WBALTV reports that Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer Caesar Goodson have been suspended, pending termination.  They were found to have failed to follow policies for seat-belting Freddie Gray.

 

Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero who took Freddie into custody, face five days suspension without pay.

Officer William Porter, whose trial resulted in a hung jury, faces no punishment.

 

On July 29, 2016, charges were dropped by prosecutors after a jury deadlocked on charges against Porter, and a judge acquitted Rice, Goodson and Nero.

The internal discipline review, conducted by the Montgomery and Howard county police departments, determined the officers broke department rules.

The officers can accept the recommended punishment or choose to dispute the charges. Read the rest of this entry

St. Louis Detective and Prosecutor Sentenced By Federal Court

Let’s see if we can figure this out, and why it takes digging into several media sources to get all of the details.  Seriously, my research about this case took me back to July 2014, and online news sources St. Louis Today, Fox news, and the Washington Times.

On July 22, 2014, St. Louis, MO police detective Thomas A. Carroll assaulted handcuffed suspect, Michael Waller.  He didn’t report it to superiors and assisted in filing charges against Waller.

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Thomas A. Carroll (photo by J.B. Forbes)

After 25 years on the job, Carroll was suspended without pay in late July 2014 amid ongoing criminal and internal investigations that is said to have involved the FBI.  Subsequently, Carroll retired.  Internal affairs charged Carroll with failure to follow an order.

Michael Waller was charged on July 23, 2014 with receiving stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card, along with an escape charge relative to resisting arrest.  He was allegedly in possession of a stolen credit card that belonged to Carroll’s daughter.  His booking photo shows that he had a black-eye.

Two St. Louis prosecutors, Bliss Worrell and Katherine Dierdorf, were forced to leave their jobs because of their knowledge of events, and the circumstances related to charging Waller.  There was investigation that Carroll was giving prosecutors unauthorized ride-alongs that included allowing them to use his taser on suspects.  The same day that Worrell and Dierdorf left their jobs, the charges against Waller were dismissed. Read the rest of this entry

Defining Black Lives Matter – Part 2

Historical Attitude That Black Lives Are Expendable

“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 – NIV

Have you ever been in an argument or debate with someone and mention what they did previously and their defense is that you are bringing up the past? When patterns or behaviors are repeated, and even current, the past is brought up to show a demonstrated pattern of conduct.  The criminal justice system does it all the time.

In February 1991, 34 nations led by the United States successfully freed the people of Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion.  American troops represented the spectrum of America, being all colors and genders.   General Colin Powell was the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and he was in interviews along with General Norman Schwarzkopf.  They were perfect examples of the love of freedom for America and other countries.  America’s military and the men who led it exemplified unity and the greatest of this country.

Less than one month after freeing Kuwait, on March 3, 1991, this nation and the world would see another side of America.

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A Sony handheld camcorder captured the beating of Rodney King.  The man who recorded the beating was ignored by the police and subsequently turned his video over to a local television station.

Following four days of grand jury testimony, on March 14, 1991, three Los Angeles police officers, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, and Theodore Briseno, were charged.  A ranking officer at the scene, Sargent Stacey Koon, was charged with “willfully permitting and failing to take action to stop the unlawful assault.”

The jury of 10 Whites, 1 Latino and 1 Asian acquitted Koon, Wind, and Briseno. The same jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge against Powell.

Then Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley disagreed with the verdict, telling The New York Times that “the system failed us.” The day after the riots began, President George H. Bush asked the Department of Justice to look into charges against the officers for violating Rodney King’s civil rights.

President George H. Bush stated,

“What you saw and what I saw on the TV video was revolting. I felt anger. I felt pain. I thought: How can I explain this to my grandchildren?”

Today, we ask the same question, not about a video from 1991, but videos since then — maybe yesterday— or even today.

Many Black Lives Matter activists were not born until after the beating of Rodney King was recorded and the officers placed on trial and acquitted.  I wonder if former President George H. Bush has any words for their parents and grandparents of how to explain the repeated pattern?

Read the rest of this entry

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. Read the rest of this entry

Third Trial In The Death of Freddie Gray

BPD Officer Caesar R Goodson Jr_1430527751576_17690905_ver1.0_640_480Trial starts on Thursday of this week for the Baltimore police officer who was driving the van transporting Freddie Gray.  This is the trial I was waiting for.  Officer Caesar Goodson faces the most serious charges of the 6 Baltimore officers who were charged in Freddie’s death.  He is also the only officer out of the 6 who did not give a statement to investigators.

Freddie was placed in the back of the van last April.  By the time the van arrived at a police station less than hour later, Freddie’s spine was nearly severed, and he died several days later.

Goodson is charged with; Read the rest of this entry

How The Jury In Porter’s Trial Voted

William G. Porter was the first of the Baltimore 6 to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray.  Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial because the jury hung on all four charges.

The Baltimore Sun reports that legal experts say the information on how the jury voted is critical to understanding the process now playing out as prosecutors and Porter’s defense attorneys prepare for his scheduled retrial in June. The information also could help shape legal strategies in the pending cases against the other five police officers charged in Gray’s April arrest and death.

A gag order prevents prosecutors and  defense attorneys from discussing the case,but  one juror agreed to be interviewed.  That one juror said that some were driven to tears during deliberations.

The anonymous juror said that the jury changed their votes multiple times during deliberations.  For instance, a few more jurors wanted to convict Porter of manslaughter at the start of deliberations but changed their minds.

Officer Porter

William Porter

The jury consisted of 4 black women, 3 black men, 3 white women, and 2 white men.  The only juror identified is Susan Elgin, an attorney.

The six police officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death have all pleaded not guilty. Four have been suspended without pay; the other two who only face misdemeanors are suspended with pay.

 


Read the rest of this entry

Verdict Watch – The Death of Freddie Gray – William Porter Trial

freddie-gray-arrest-video.pngTwenty-five year old Freddie Gray was arrested April 12 after he ran from police in his West Baltimore neighborhood. His hands and feet were shackled. He was placed in the police van and not belted in. He suffered a spinal injury and died a week later. At Porter’s trial, medical experts for both sides said that Freddie’s injury was likened to one sustained when someone dives headfirst into a shallow pool of water.

The public has only heard bits and pieces of trial testimony because no cameras or electronic devices are allowed in the courtroom. Today, there is a bit more reported about the trial that we would have to have kept track to know.  For example, there were 20 witnesses and about 100 pieces of evidence. The jury saw the van that Freddie died in.

William PorterWilliam Porter is the first officer to stand trial. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

The jury of three black men, five black women, two white men and two white women now decide whether Porter is guilty or innocent. Judge Barry G. Williams told jurors they could stay as late as they would like each day to deliberate.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis canceled leave for officers through Friday. “The community has an expectation for us to be prepared for a variety of scenarios,” Davis said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has urged residents to remain calm. “Whatever the verdict, we need everyone in our city to respect the judicial process,” Rawlings-Blake said. “We need everyone visiting our city to respect Baltimore.”

Our committed and precious Yahtzee took time to put the tweets of Kevin Rector in chronological order from today regarding closing arguments and jury instructions. Read the rest of this entry

Trial of First Officer of the Baltimore 6 Continues

freddie-gray-arrest-video.pngYesterday, the prosecution rested. The defense moved for dismissal and Judge Barry G. Williams denied their motion. The defense puts on its case starting today.

William Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.  He is the first of 6 Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Porter’s attorneys have stated that he will testify, although that can change.

Tuesday morning, jurors heard from an expert of police procedures who said officers have an obligation to seat-belt arrestees and get them quick medical attention. Dr. Michael Lyman, a professor of criminal justice at Columbia College in Missouri, testified for the prosecution that police officers who arrest a suspect have a “shared responsibility” to make sure that person is secured in the back of a police transport wagon. If the person complains of injuries, officers should immediately determine where the nearest hospital is and take the arrestee there.

Also on Tuesday, a crime scene technician, a crime lab serologist and a DNA expert each testified about their role in collecting and analyzing Freddie’s blood found in the back of the transport wagon. Read the rest of this entry

The Death of Freddie Gray – William Porter On Trial

The jury has been seated; opening statements were made, and the prosecution’s first witness was called.

William PorterThe trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter is underway.

No cameras or computers are allowed inside the courtroom. We will follow trial as best we can through Twitter and other sources and post it in the comment section. At the end of each trial day, I will attempt to obtain a video that recaps the day’s trial.

The below video recaps today’s hearing.

 

 

Jury Selection Begins For Officer Charged In The Death of Freddie Gray

freddie-gray-arrest-video.pngOn April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore. He was placed unsecured in a police van and was unresponsive when it reached the jail. Freddie was taken to the hospital where he died on April 19, 2015.  The coroner’s report found that Freddie suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged 6 officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Pre-trial activity has included numerous motions filed by defense attorneys. The first of the officers to stand trial is William Porter. Jury selection began today. Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and assault.

Folks, this looks as if jury selection is going to be a long process, although Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams said that the trial would be over by December 17th. Read the rest of this entry

Judge Expected To Rule Today On Trial Schedules For the Baltimore Six

The six police officers are charged with various crimes in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland on April 19, 2015. Freddie died a week after he was injured while being transported in a police van to the jail.  An autopsy found that Freddie’s spine was 80 percent severed.

Judge Barry Williams will hold a scheduling conference this afternoon, September 29 2015, to determine when and in what order the officers, who face charges ranging from second-degree assault to second-degree “depraved-heart” murder, will be tried. The first trial is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 13, 2015.

Earlier this month, Judge Williams ruled that each officer will get his or her own trial. The state anticipates that they will need between three and five days to present their case against each officer, and intend to call at least one officer to testify against the others.

baltimore-officers-charged-montage-large-169Prosecutors plan to first place Officer William Porter on trial. Porter is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. The state intends to call Porter to testify against Sgt. Alicia White, who faces identical charges, and Officer Caesar Goodson, who faces an additional “depraved-heart” murder charge.

Garrett Miller and Edward Nero have been charged with misdemeanor assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian Rice has been charged with manslaughter.

One reason for not having one trial for all of the accused is because they gave investigators conflicting statements. Defense lawyers told the court that the conflicting statements could create problems in a joint trial because it would pit the defendants against each other, depriving them of the right to confront his or her accuser and deprive them of the right to not testify in their defense. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Mayor Replaces Police Commissioner

TIME

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake replaced the city’s police commissioner Wednesday after officials called for his resignation in the wake of a report by the city’s police union criticizing his handling of riots in April.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the mayor’s office said it had replaced Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts with Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

The announcement came the same day that the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police released a report highly critical of Batts’s handling of unrest in the city following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old unarmed black man who died in police custody.

Batts was appointed police commissioner in September 2012 and previously served as chief of police in Oakland, Calif.

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Freddie Gray Died From Injury Like Diving Into Shallow Water

Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, 2015 following a foot pursuit by Baltimore police officers. He was placed in the back of a police van that stopped several times, at least once where Freddie’s legs were shackled. He was unresponsive when the van arrived at the police station, and died a week later at a hospital. His death sparked protests over police brutality.

Officers arrested in the death of Freddie GrayThe Baltimore Sun obtained a copy of the Freddie Gray’s autopsy. The medical examiner concluded that Freddie suffered a single “high-energy injury” that was like those seen in shallow-water diving incidents.   The medical examiner concluded that Freddie’s death fits the medical definition of an accident, but ruled it a homicide because officers failed to follow safety procedures “through acts of omission.”

Freddie was loaded into the van on his stomach. The medical examiner speculated that Freddie got to his feet and was thrown into the wall during an abrupt change in direction. He was not belted in and his wrists and ankles were shackled, which made him “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van.”

The mysterious 45 minutes of Freddie Gray's deathMarilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney charged six officers involved in Freddie’s arrest and death. Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the van, is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder. Three other officers are charged with manslaughter. The remaining officers face lesser charges. Read the rest of this entry

Balitmore’s Gag Order Struck Without Prejudice And Other Stuff

It’s no big deal, but because of some people promoting it as a lost for Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, I thought it important to write this so those interested can discern fact from ignorance.  It’s easier for me to understand the structures of courts than how Baltimore has its own State’s Attorney because in most states, State’s Attorneys are elected to represent a county and not a city.

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Marilyn Mosby

Each state has its own court structure, and that structure can differ from state to state. For example, California has Superior Courts that in other states, are considered Circuit Courts. Pennsylvania has courts of Common Pleas, Commonwealth Courts, Superior Court, and a Supreme Court. In Maryland, there are District Courts and Circuit Courts. District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of the District Court is concurrent with that of the circuit court in criminal cases that are classified misdemeanors and certain felonies, in which the penalty may be confinement for 3 years or more or a fine of $2,500 or more. The District Court does not conduct jury trials.

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is a State trial court of unlimited jurisdiction. It handles all types of cases and is divided into four main divisions: Family, Juvenile, Criminal, and Civil.

This photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department on Friday, May 1, 2015 shows, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, the six police officers charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)

This photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department on Friday, May 1, 2015.

The charges against the six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray were filed in the District Court. It is in that court that State’s Attorney Mosby filed a motion for a gag order. However, the officers were indicted and the cases transferred to the Circuit Court on May 21, 2015.

Read the rest of this entry

Open Discussion – May 20 2015

Hi!  Santiago here. As announced last week, I will be doing a weekly open discussion thread. Share whatever is on your mind, current or past events. Keep in mind not everything has to be news related here, talk about your week or your plans for the weekend or any suggestions you may have for the blog.

A big thanks to participants and subscribed followers.

  • This last week has been filled with some interesting stories. Zimmerman is back in the news again and it appears he is once again the “victim”. Apparently George has followed through in pressing charges against Apperson.

My personal thoughts, is anybody allowed to stand their ground with this clown?  I think the only thing that’s going to come of this is a waste of tax payer dollars, but it will be fun to watch George take the stand if he really intends on this going through…

It is  funny to see some Dunn supporters stand up for George in this regard. Apperson thought he  saw George waive his gun. Dunn swore up and down Jordan had a gun… even though no gun was ever found in the SUV that Dunn shot up. George on the other hand, did indeed have his gun. But, it’s funny to sit back and watch the hypocrisy flow from the nutters.

  • Waco presented us a 5 biker gang brawl that ended up with a shoot out leaving 9 dead and more than 170 arrest.  In fact, it turns out one of those arrested is a retired detective. So let me get this straight — cops retire to become bad guys! What’s going on here? I wonder if throughout the investigation if we will learn that this former Detective did certain favors for his “Club”?

Read the rest of this entry

6 Officers Charged In The Death of Freddie Gray

Here is the press conference announcing probable cause for the arrest of all 6 officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.

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Freddie Gray

Cop Involved In Killing of Freddie Gray Had Been Suspended Twice

freddie-gray-baltimore-officers-named-Lt. Brian Rice, who was the first to make eye contact with Freddie Gray, has been suspended twice from the Baltimore police force for personal reasons, including mental health and an protective order.

In 2012, Lt. Brian Rice was hospitalized for a mental health concern. It happens. People have circumstantial and other types of depression and mental health issues. The main thing is that they seek and receive help. Another main thing too, is that they re-evaluate their profession and if necessary, go into another line of work.

Lt. Brian Rice has a son with Karen McAleer.  The Associated Press reached out to talk to Karen McAleer, but she declined to speak. In 2012, McAleer contacted police for a welfare check on Lt. Brian Rice. Allegedly, Rice said he “could not continue to go on like this” and threatened to commit an act that was censored in the public version of a report obtained by the AP from the Carroll County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office.

Citing “credible information,” deputies confiscated both Rice’s official and personal guns, called his commanding officer and transported Rice to the Carroll Hospital Center. The weapons included his .40-caliber police pistol, a 9 mm handgun, an AK-47-style rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and two shotguns. Read the rest of this entry

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