In a matter of minutes, State prosecutors wrapped up the Freddie Gray case by dropping all criminal charges against the remaining three officers set to stand trial for his death on July 27.

No one will be held criminally responsible for the death of the 25-year-old, who was killed while in police custody.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, at podium, holds a news conference near the site where Freddie Gray, depicted in mural in background, was arrested after her office dropped the remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in Gray's death, in Baltimore, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case. At left is Gray's father, Richard Shipley. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, at podium, holds a news conference near the site where Freddie Gray, depicted in mural in background, was arrested after her office dropped the remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in Gray’s death, in Baltimore, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. The decision by prosecutors comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case. At left is Gray’s father, Richard Shipley. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

Reporters rushed out of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse with the news, where they had gathered before Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams to hear pre-trial motions for Officer Garrett Miller, who was facing charges of second degree assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment.

Instead of settling matters related to how Miller’s testimony against Officer Edward Nero would affect his own trial, Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow and Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe made three quick motions that put an end to the ordeal, which began a little more than a year ago in the Gilmor Homes public housing complex.

“We do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself,” said a clearly upset Marilyn Mosby, a press conference in West Baltimore housing complex after the charges were dropped. “The judge has acquitted three of these officers- one of the arresting officers, the wagon driver, and the highest ranking police officer in this matter.” Officer Edward M. Nero, Lt. Brian W. Rice and Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr. were all acquitted earlier this year.

“In light of these consistent outcomes, the likelihood of the remaining defendant’s decision to elect a bench trial with this very same judge is highly probable and unfortunately, so is the outcome,” added Mosby.

Mosby alleged that the case was sabotaged from the beginning. In her press conference she said, “There were individual police officers that were witnesses to the case, yet were part of the investigative team.”

She also cited interrogations conducted with no hard questions as evidence of the sabotage, along with uncooperative lead detectives that started a counter investigation and failed to execute search warrants pertaining to text messages among the police officers charged.

While critics say the six acquittals are a failure on her part, Mosby said, “The only loss- and the greatest loss in all of this was that of Freddie Gray’s life.”

A total of six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who died days after being arrested for carrying a spring knife and running way from a police officer after making eye-contact. Somewhere between running from the police and the seven stops the police van made before calling a medic, Gray’s spine was fatally damaged.

Along with Miller, Officer Edward M. Nero was charged with second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian W. Rice, the highest ranking police officer present during the April 12 arrest last year, and was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., the van driver, faced the most serious charge of second degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle due to gross and criminal negligence, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

Officer William G. Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

Sgt. Alicia D. White was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Before Miller and White’s cases were dropped, Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial last year and Nero and Rice were acquitted. Five of the six officers charged are now suing Mosby in a civil court for defamation of character.

“The State decided to dismiss the cases because at this point they were really on the verge of being accused of a malicious prosecution- prosecution they know will not result in a conviction,” said Warren A. Brown, a Baltimore defense attorney not associated with the case. “The evidence was not going to be any different. The charges were not going to be any different. The judge was not going to be any different. It was going to be a court trial and you could easily see what the result would be.”

Though Mosby lost the most high-profile cases of her career so far, Doug Colbert, a law professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, said the case represents, “new ground broken.”

“Every officer now knows that he or she will be held criminally accountable when a police officer is responsible for someone dying in police custody. There will be many positive changes that result from bringing these trials,” he said.

According to Mosby, those changes also include cameras in every police van, new accountability requirements to make sure officers are adhering to “departmental policy, general orders, or procedures,” the mandate that all prisoners be in a seatbelt when being transported, and body-worn cameras for all officers.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer