Cops In Freddie Gray Case Accept ‘Minor’ Discipline To Avoid Trial
Two Baltimore police officers will only receive “minor disciplinary action” for their involvement in Freddie Gray‘s fatal arrest that set off weeks of anti-brutality protests and unrest in April 2015, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Officers Garrett Miller, 28, and Edward Nero, 31, will avoid arguing their cases before departmental trial boards, a police union attorney confirmed Tuesday. The “disciplinary action” is the first punitive motion against the officers, who will still remain on the police force, the report said. Local and federal prosecutors failed to bring charges and secure convictions against Nero, Miller and four other officers involved in 25-year-old Gray’s case.
“[The officers] believe they did not violate any of the policies, procedures or practices of the Baltimore Police Department [but] accepted the disciplinary action to move on from this unfortunate incident and continue their careers,” said attorney Michael Davey, with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3.
Davey avoided disclosing what department violations were alleged or the accepted specific punishments for the officers. Miller will return to full-time duty in the department’s marine unit, and Nero will go back full-time in the aviation unit, the report says.
Gray, 25, died in police custody on April 12, 2015. Miller initially arrested Gray, who allegedly had a knife, police said. Nero helped place Gray in the back of police transport van before the young man was handcuffed and shackled. Officers failed to fasten his seat belt, and Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury before he died a week later.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby brought criminal charges against Miller, Nero, Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officers Caesar Goodson as well as William Porter. Nero, Rice and Goodson were acquitted before Mosby dropped charges against the remaining three cops, The Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Department of Justice declined federal criminal civil rights charges after an investigation. However, Baltimore paid Gray’s family $6.4 million to avoid civil litigation.
Goodson, Rice and White are scheduled for open trial boards in October, November and December, respectively. But the dates are now in jeopardy after a motion was filed over an alleged undisclosed meeting between police officials and Prince George’s County and Maryland commanders who are potential trial board chairs, the Sun reported.