Baltimore Police Officer in Freddie Gray Case Found Not Guilty on All Charges

Caesar Goodson is the second of three officers to be cleared of charges in Gray’s death.

AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore police officer facing the most serious charges in the death of 27-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody last April, was found not guilty on all charges by a judge on Thursday morning. Goodson had faced charges of second-degree “depraved heart” murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office.

Prosecutors had argued that Goodson, who drove the police van in which Gray sustained his fatal injuries, was responsible for fastening Gray’s seatbelt but did not. And they alleged that Gray’s neck injury occurred after Goodson deliberately drove around in a reckless manner while Gray was handcuffed, shackled at the legs, and unrestrained by a belt—what’s known in law enforcement as a “rough ride.” They also argued that Goodson had five opportunities to get Gray medical attention after his injury occurred. But Goodson’s attorneys countered that he deferred to the judgment of the officers who had helped to put Gray in the van, none of whom fastened his seatbelt or took Gray’s initial request for medical attention seriously (Gray said he had injured his leg). They also argued that Gray’s neck injury—the one that proved fatal—occurred later in the ride, leaving fewer opportunities for Goodson to attend to it. Explaining his ruling, Judge Barry Williams said that Gray’s neck injury had “manifested itself internally,” so it would not have been evident to the average person.

Goodson was the third of six officers to face trial in Gray’s death. Officer William Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial in December; officer Edward Nero was found not guilty by Judge Williams last month. At least two officers charged in Gray’s death, including Porter, have sued Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby for defamation. Two more officers’ are scheduled to to stand trial in July, while Porter’s retrial is scheduled for September. The final officers’ trial will start in October.

 

 

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate