In Baltimore, Many Protestors Arrested; Police Upset; Officers Charged Post Bond
[Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as more news comes in]
10:45 p.m. EDT
A line of National Guard troops and tanks is at Baltimore City Hall, along with a large crowd of media, and a line of police wearing helmets, face shields and protective vests and carrying body shields. Mounted police are also guarding the area and police vans are on the scene.
There did not appear to be any protesters left, other than a handful being interviewed by reporters about what they saw when officers moved in after 10 p.m. Friday and arrested a few people while others scattered and dispersed.
10:30 p.m. EDT
Live television coverage of the remains of a protest at City Hall just after the 10 p.m. curfew went into effect showed a line of police, carrying shields, move in and take several people away.
In a series of tweets, Baltimore police said the protesters remained at War Memorial Plaza “in violation of the curfew,” had been warned and that officers were arresting protesters who refused to leave.
Freddie Gray, whose death began it all.
Credit Wikimedia Commons (Courtesy The Gray Family)
10:10 p.m. EDT
Shortly after curfew, Baltimore police are arresting people gathered at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues. Leading up to 10 p.m., more than 100 people were dancing in the streets and chanting “Freddie” to celebrate charges against six officers in connection with Freddie Gray’s death.
Meanwhile, a helicopter was hovering overhead and warning people that they were subject to arrest while people danced atop a truck in the middle of the intersection. Pleas from police to reporters to confine themselves to a special media pen were largely ignored.
9:20 p.m. EDT
Court records indicate that the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have been released on bonds of between $250,000 and $350,000. The six had turned themselves in at the city jail Friday afternoon after the city’s chief prosecutor announced the charges against them.
State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby says Gray’s death was a homicide, his arrest was illegal and his treatment amounted to murder and manslaughter. An attorney speaking on behalf of the officers says the charges are a rush to judgment.
8:45 p.m. EDT
Court records indicate that all six Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death have posted bond, and five have been released. The sixth officer, Sgt. Alicia White, had not yet been released. One officer faces a second-degree murder charge. The other officers face manslaughter or assault charges, among others.
Gray died one week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.
8 p.m. EDT
A protest rally in Baltimore earlier this week.
Credit Veggies / Wikimedia Commons
A rally weaving its way through Baltimore may eclipse all the other protest marches this week. More than 1,000 people began at the Inner Harbor tourist district and made their way to the city jail to seek amnesty for protesters previously arrested.
From there, the marchers wound through city streets to the site of Monday’s rioting, then through the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested and at last count was making its way to western district police headquarters.
The group seemed to make its mind as it went, sometimes switching direction and backing up when a majority took a new turn. Protesters marched at least two hours nonstop and more than 7 miles, stretching multiple blocks.
Nearly universally, people stuck in traffic beeped horns and waved support to marchers, celebrating charges against six officers in connection with Gray’s death.
7:40 p.m. EDT
Online court records list the race of three of the officers charged in the Freddie Gray case as black and list the three others in the broad category of “white, Caucasian, Asiatic Indian, Arab” without specifying.
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Officer William G. Porter and Sgt. Alicia D. White are listed as black. Lt. Brian W. Rice, Officer Garrett E. Miller and Officer Edward M. Nero are listed in the other category.
Goodson is the driver of the vehicle that transported Gray and faces the most serious charges. He allegedly repeatedly failed to secure Gray using a seat belt as required by police, Baltimore’s top prosecutor said Friday, adding that Gray suffered a severe neck injury while handcuffed, shackled and unsecured in the van.
7:30 p.m. EDT
On the day that six police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray after his arrest, one east Baltimore police sergeant has warned superiors that “it is about to get ugly.”
Sgt. Lennardo Bailey wrote in a letter to command staff in the city’s eastern district that officers are being challenged on the street. In the letter obtained by The Associated Press, Bailey says he was challenged to a fight on three of five calls he responded to Friday. The letter was first reported by the website Buzzfeed.
“Some of them I blew off, but one of them almost got ugly,” he said.
Police officials declined to comment and Bailey could not be reached for comment.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 President Gene Ryan declined to comment on the report but says the decision to charge the officers will make their job harder. Ryan promised officers that the organization would continue working diligently to ensure they have support to complete their missions safely.
6:10 p.m. EDT
Baltimore court records show the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have had their initial bail review.
Bail was set at $350,000 for three officers and $250,000 for the other three. One of the officers faces a second-degree murder charge and four face involuntary manslaughter charges. The most severe charge for the other two is assault.
The bail proceedings are not open to the public under Maryland law.
The records do not indicate that the officers have yet posted bail.
5:10 p.m. EDT
The stepfather of Freddie Gray says the family is satisfied with prosecutors charging six police officers involved in Gray's arrest. Richard Shipley said at a news conference Friday that the charges were the first step in getting justice for Gray, who prosecutors say died after suffering a critical spine injury in the back of a police wagon.
An attorney for the Gray family says people must be mindful that the charges are a first step, not the last. State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby says Gray's death was a homicide, his arrest was illegal and his treatment amounted to murder and manslaughter. An attorney speaking on behalf of the officers says the charges are a rush to judgment.
The head of a group that is holding a march Saturday says it will now be a “victory rally” after a prosecutor charged six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Malik Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, said he was pleasantly surprised by the charges and commended State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby “for standing up for justice and setting a standard for prosecutors all over the nation.”
“We usually face injustice,” he said. Shabazz has helped organize rallies after Gray suffered a critical injury while in police custody. He hopes thousands show up for his rally Saturday.
4 p.m. EDT
The Baltimore police officers’ union says the state’s attorney has made a rush to judgment by bringing charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Attorney Michael Davey, whose firm was hired by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, says he is representing one of the officers, but is speaking on behalf of all of them. Davey says he has never seen such a hurried rush to file charges and the officers did nothing wrong.
Earlier Friday, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby declared that Gray's arrest was illegal and his treatment amounted to murder and manslaughter.
3:50 p.m. EDT
Demonstrators with the Baltimore United Coalition have arrived at City Hall after a peaceful march. Marcher Dennis Farley says he’s in Baltimore from Washington for the demonstration today. “We’re here to show our love and respect for justice in the world,” he says.
3:30 p.m. EDT
A public safety department spokesman says all six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have turned themselves in and are inside the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. One officer faces a second-degree murder charge while the other officers face manslaughter or assault charges, among others.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died one week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.
1:30 p.m. EDT
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says five of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are in custody. Rawlings-Blake made the announcement Friday afternoon, hours after the city’s chief prosecutor said they were charged.
“No one is above the law in our city,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Justice must apply to all of us equally.”
She also says she was sickened and heartbroken about the situation. “There will be justice for Mr. Gray,” she said. Gray died one week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody. His death sparked outrage and protests in Baltimore and elsewhere.
12:45 p.m. EDT
The sheriff’s office says it expects the six police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death to turn themselves in at the Baltimore jail hours after charges were announced.
Maj. Samuel Cogen with the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office said Friday that his agency was processing arrest warrants for the six police officers. The city’s chief prosecutor announced the charges earlier Friday.
Gray died one week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody. His death sparked outrage and protests in Baltimore and elsewhere. Cogen says the officers are expected to surrender themselves later Friday at the city’s jail.
12:30 p.m. EDT
President Barack Obama says it’s “absolutely vital” that the truth about what happened to Freddie Gray comes out. Obama commented Friday shortly after Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced criminal charges against the six police officers who were suspected after the 25-year-old Baltimore man suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody.
His death angered the community and led to violent protests, including looting and fires, after his funeral earlier this week. Obama says justice needs to be served and all the evidence needs to be presented. He says the individuals facing charges are entitled to due process.
“It is my practice not to comment on the legal process that’s involved ... but I can tell you that justice needs to be served,” Obama said. “All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. So I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should.” He says that what the people of Baltimore want most is the truth.
11:20 a.m. EDT
Across Baltimore, people are reacting to the charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray and praising the decision to prosecute. When State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby made the announcement at a news conference Friday, the crowd cheered.
Shortly after, in front of a fire station where Gov. Larry Hogan is scheduled to visit Friday, a man leaning out of a passing truck window pumped both arms in the air and yelled, “Justice! Justice! Justice!”
At the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues, where the worst of the rioting took place Monday after Gray’s funeral, the mood was far different than it had been the rest of the week. Drivers honked their horns. As buses stopped in front of the subway station, whoops and hollers came from inside the vehicle as the doors opened.
But there was no large gathering at the intersection immediately after the announcement. Still, nearly 100 police in riot gear were deployed to the intersection.
Ciara Ford of Baltimore expressed surprise at the decision to prosecute. “I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I hope this can restore some peace.” “It makes you cry,” said her friend, Stephanie Owens of Columbia. They both expressed hopes that the officers would be convicted. Both believed that the protests in the city made a difference in ensuring that authorities took the case seriously.
“If we had kept quiet, I don’t think they would have prosecuted,” Ford said. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died one week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.
11:10 a.m. EDT
The Baltimore police officers union says the six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case aren’t responsible for his death. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 President Gene Ryan made the comment Friday in a letter to Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby before she announced the charges. It was the union’s strongest statement to date in the officers’ defense.
“As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray,” Ryan wrote. “To the contrary, at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect Mr. Gray and discharge their duties to protect the public.”
Ryan asked Mosby in the letter to appoint a special independent prosecutor. But after announcing charges Friday, Mosby said she would not turn the case over to a special prosecutor. The union contracts with an attorney, Michael Davey, who has said that five of the six officers gave voluntary statements on the day of Gray’s arrest.
11 a.m. EDT
State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby says six officers in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray have been charged. One officer faces a second-degree murder charge while the other officers face manslaughter or assault charges, among others.
Mosby says the officers failed to get Gray medical help even though he requested it repeatedly after he was arrested April 12. She called his arrest illegal.
At some point while he was in custody, he suffered a mysterious spinal injury and died a week later.
10:35 a.m. EDT
The Baltimore police officers union is asking State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to appoint a special independent prosecutor for the Freddie Gray death investigation.
Fraternal Order of Police local president Gene Ryan told Mosby in a letter Friday that the union is concerned about her ties to Gray family attorney Billy Murphy.
Murphy was among Mosby’s biggest campaign contributors last year, donating the maximum individual amount allowed, $4,000, in June. He was also on Mosby’s transition team after the election.
The union says none of the six officers suspended in the investigation is responsible for Gray's death. The 25-year-old black man died one week after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in police custody.
10:15 a.m. EDT
The state medical examiner’s office says it has sent the autopsy report on Freddie Gray to prosecutors. Officials made the announcement Friday morning. The report is now in the hands of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Spokesman Bruce Goldfarb says the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner will not release the report publicly while the case is under investigation.
11:30 p.m. EDT
Baltimore police say they are investigating the suspicious death of a man whose body was found in a tractor-trailer cab parked less than a block from the scene of nightly protests over Freddie Gray's death.
Spokesman Sgt. Jarron Jackson said late Thursday that police do not believe the death is connected to the protests. Jackson said a man’s body was found Thursday night inside the truck’s cab.
There was no trailer with the cab, which has the name Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co. Salem, Illinois. The truck is parked in front of a Baltimore social services building, less than a block from where many of the protests have taken place.