The U.S. Justice Department will not bring charges against Baltimore police officers in connection with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custody in 2015, the Baltimore Sun reports. The department said that after “an extensive review of this tragic event, conducted by career prosecutors and investigators,” officials concluded that “the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the officers involved in Gray’s arrest “willfully violated” his civil rights. The decision means no officers will be held criminally responsible for Gray’s death. The state filed criminal charges against six officers in the case, but failed to secure a conviction.
Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a criminal civil rights probe into Gray’s death on the day of Gray’s funeral, as rioting, looting and arson erupted in Baltimore. DOJ said the evidence did not show Gray was given a “rough ride” in the back of a police transport van — a theory of state prosecutors — and did not prove that officers were aware that their failure to secure Gray with a seat belt put him in danger. Evidence did not show that officers knew he was injured and needed immediate medical care, DOJ said. Five officers still face internal discipline hearings in the case. Prosecutors said Gray died after suffering a fatal spinal cord injury in a police transport van after his arrest on April 12, 2015. His death a week later sparked widespread protests against police brutality in Baltimore. Clashes between police and civilians spiraled out of control on the day of his funeral, erupting into rioting that caused millions of dollars in damages. The city was put under a weeklong nightly curfew.