Police Van Driver Cleared in Freddie Gray Case

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After a Baltimore police trial board found Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. not guilty of all administrative charges Tuesday in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, legal analysts said the cases against two colleagues will likely zero in on what additional responsibility they had as supervisors, the Baltimore Sun reports. “That may be their best shot,” said attorney Thomas Maronick, who is not involved in the cases against the officers. “A supervisor is responsible for what happens on their watch.” Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White are the last two officers of the six involved the case who face disciplinary action. Both could lose their jobs if found guilty by their trial boards. Rice is scheduled to go before his board on Monday. White is to follow on Dec. 5.

Gray, 25, was arrested in April 2015 and suffered severe spinal cord injuries in the back of a police van. He died a week after his arrest. Goodson, the van driver, was charged administratively with neglecting his duty to ensure Gray’s safety by securing him with a seat belt or calling a medic when Gray asked for one, with making false statements to investigators and failing to properly document his actions. A panel of three police officers determined the city failed to prove the charges against him by a preponderance of evidence, a lesser burden than the standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt required in criminal court. Goodson was acquitted in criminal court last year of charges including second-degree depraved-heart murder. Warren Alperstein, a defense attorney not involved in the case, said it was “astonishing” that the city’s legal team couldn’t meet that lower burden of proof at the administrative trial. “It’s much easier to prove a police officer committed wrongdoing in a trial board setting,” he said.

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