Baltimore Police officer Caesar Goodson has been found not guilty of all 21 administrative charges against him in the death of Freddie Gray. According to the Baltimore Sun, 48-year-old Goodson was the driver of the police van in which 25-year-old Gray was found. He later died of severe and fatal spinal cord injuries in April 2015.
The decision was unanimous among three law enforcement officials who presided. The charges revolved around whether Goodson was negligent in failing to ensure Gray’s safety following his arrest. This includes not securing a handcuffed and shackled suspect in a seat belt and not calling a medic after Gray requested one. He was also charged with making false statements to authorities.
“This is a vindication of this officer,” said Sean Malone, one of Goodson’s attorneys. “This is a tragic accident that happened, and we’re sorry for the loss of Mr. Gray, but we’re glad that our client is not going to be the face of this incident.”
The administrative trial follows the fact that Goodson was acquitted on all charges, including second-degree depraved-heart murder, at a criminal trial last year.
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade in Baltimore. He died a week later after being in police custody. Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said at the time that Gray "did suffer a very tragic injury to his spinal cord which resulted in his death." The case made headlines as critics pointed to police brutality and racism within policing. Demonstrators took to the streets to protest on behalf of Gray as part of the larger Black Lives Matter movement.
As the Sun shares, six officers were charged criminally in the Gray case; none have been convicted. Five of those were also charged administratively in the case. Two accepted “minor” discipline in the case and are back at work. Two others have administrative trials coming up.