On Thursday, the Baltimore police officer who drove the van carrying Freddie Gray was cleared of all charges. Caesar Goodson was acquitted of second-degree murder, as well as six lesser charges. It brings to a close the third major police trial related to the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man in Baltimore who sustained a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. Prosecutors had argued that Goodson, who is also black, purposefully gave Gray a "rough ride" with "the intent ... to bang him around,” as Michael Schatzow, the Chief Deputy State's Attorney, said in his closing arguments.
However, on Thursday, Judge Barry Williams ruled that:
The court finds there is insufficient evidence that the defendant gave or intended to give Mr. Gray a rough ride.
Williams added that there wasn't "evidence presented at this trial that the defendant intended for any crime to happen.” This latest high-profile loss is a significant blow to Baltimore's state attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby. After the city broke out in protests following the death of Gray, Mosby promised to "deliver justice." However, the trials have left many frustrated and angry in Baltimore. Protesters have already started demonstrating against Thursday's decision:
Goodson had faced the most severe charges of all six officers who had been indicted.