BALTIMORE (AP) — Prosecutors dropped the remaining charges Wednesday against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray, blaming police for a biased investigation that failed to yield any convictions.
Gray was a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015. His death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, set off massive protests in the city and led to the worst riots the city had seen in decades.
The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver who the state considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group. A fourth officer had his case heard by a jury, but the panel deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.
The case led the police department to overhaul its use of force policy, and all officers will soon be equipped with body-worn cameras. The U.S. Justice Department has also launched an investigation into allegations of widespread abuse and unlawful arrests by the department and the officers have sued State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, saying she intentionally filed false charges against them.
Gray’s family received a $6.4 million settlement from the city.
A defiant Mosby held a news conference shortly after the announcement, saying there was “a reluctance” and “an obvious bias” among some officers investigating the case.
“We do not believe Freddie Gray killed himself,” she said, standing in the neighborhood where Gray was arrested. “We stand by the medical examiner’s determination that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide.”
Gray’s mother, Gloria Darden, was on hand to support the prosecutor, saying police “lied, I know they lied, and they killed him.”