Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

No federal charges against officers in Freddie Gray death

No federal charges against officers in Freddie Gray death

The 25-year-old black man died from a severe spinal injury that he suffered after being arrested and shackled in the back of a paddy wagon.

Even with those charges dropped, however, it remained to be seen whether the federal government would file charges against the officers.

Three officers were acquitted at trial. The statement said the DOJ would continue its "independent review of this matter, assess all available materials and determine what actions are appropriate, given the strict burdens and requirements imposed by applicable federal civil rights laws".

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The Department of Justice has not commented publicly on whether or not it will bring charges, though it has in previous controversial police-involvd deaths that did not lead to charges, such as the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.

Rice, along with Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., William Porter, Edward Nero, Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White, were all charged with various offenses in Gray's death, including manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment. But under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ has pulled back from investigating police departments for suspected civil rights violations.

"These cases were never criminal and should never have been charged as such", said Rice's attorney, Michael Belsky. Goodson, who drove the van, was the sole officer charged with murder.

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The department has made announcements after investigators declined to bring charges in other cases.

While the officers are not now likely to face legal consequences, there could be professional repercussions.

Five officers face internal disciplinary trials, and these are scheduled to begin on October 30. The hearings are public.

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Last year, the Justice Department released a report detailing widespread patterns of abuse and misconduct within the Baltimore Police Department.

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