Five of the six police officers involved in the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray are facing punishment for violating rules of the Baltimore Police department. According to The Sun, three of the five officers—Officer Caesar Goodson who was driving the van where Gray suffered fatal injuries; and his supervisors Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White—are also facing termination.
The administrative charges are a result of investigations by Howard and Montgomery County police departments that concluded at the beginning of May. The BPD asked them to review the cases to avoid conflict of interest.
The officers learned of the charges against them on May 19 according to Michael E. Davey, the attorney representing all five officers during the internal review. The specific charges have not been released, but they are being charged with “violations of policy and procedure.”
BPD spokesman T.J. Smith declined to comment, stating that he is legally unable to comment on personnel matters.
The officers charged have two options: accept the punishment—termination for Goodson, Rice, and White and five-day suspension without pay for officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller who initially arrested Gray.
The second option is to contest the charges before an interdisciplinary board of other police officers. The board has the power to either acquit or uphold the charges, but Commissioner Kevin Davis has the final say on punishment. The trials are open to the public, however the results are not disclosed.
If the result of the board is to acquit the officers, according to the process, the commissioner cannot impose any punishment. If the board sustains the finding from the internal investigation, punishment can be recommended and Davis can then accept, reduce, or increase it. The officers have not yet decided whether or not to go to the trial board.
Officer William Porter, the first of the six officers to stand trial charged with manslaughter that resulted in a mistrial, will not be facing any interdisciplinary action.
The investigation by Howard and Montgomery County police departments concluded that Porter broke no rules and is now able to return to full duty.
The other officers involved are still suspended with pay working in administrative capacities.
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s State’s Attorney, who originally brought criminal charges against all six officers but failed to convict, issued a statement on May 22 saying, “I am relieved to know that majority of those involved will be held administratively accountable,” she said. “Justice is always worth the price paid for its pursuit. This case has always been about providing justice for an innocent 25-year-old man who was unreasonably taken into police custody.”