Human Rights

Police Officer Who Drove Freddie Gray Van Acquitted, Baltimore Community Reacts Angrily

Goodson is the third officer of six to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray.

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Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver in the Freddie Gray case, was charged with seven different crimes—from second degree “depraved heart” murder to reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty on all charges today by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams.

Additional charges included manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office. Gray died due to the injuries he incurred while in the custody of the Baltimore City Police on April 19, 2015, a week after being put in Goodson’s van. “Murderer!” chanted protesters outside the courthouse after the verdict was released.

“This was a tragic event and I think the uncertainty about what really happened is what has given rise to these officers being charged,” Warren Brown, a Baltimore defense attorney, said.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP, also spoke out after the announcement was made. “Everybody in Baltimore that lives in certain neighborhoods knows exactly the definition of what a rough ride is… A lot of them don’t die. But in this case, Freddie Gray is dead, and no one will pay for it,” Hill-Aston added.

Goodson is the third officer to be let off the hook in the death of Freddie Gray. Three more are charged.

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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.