- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Prosecutors Wednesday morning dropped all remaining charges against three officers who were waiting to stand trial in connection with the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

In motions ahead of the trial of Officer Garrett Miller, one of six officers charged in the Gray case, prosecutors announced the decision in the wake of three acquittals and growing pressure to cut their losses.

In an impassioned speech Wednesday at the site of Gray’s arrest Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she has no regrets in bringing charges against the six officers. While some trial watchers have said the state did not bring the evidence to prove its theory of Gray’s death — and city Judge Barry Williams agreed in acquitting three of the officers — Ms. Mosby blamed uncooperative police, the media and a broken justice system.

“Police investigating police, whether they’re friends or merely their colleagues, is problematic,” she said. “At every stage of the investigation, individual police officers were uncooperative … and tried to disprove the case.”

She claimed that investigators created notes that were drafted after the case was launched and turned over evidence to defense lawyers months before giving them to the prosecution.

But in dropping the remaining charges, she said that her office had to “consider the dismal likelihood of conviction at this point.”

Ms. Mosby said the personal toll she’s taken during the case and resulting trials was worth it.

“I signed up for this, and I can take it,” she said. “We do not believe Freddie Gray killed himself. This system is in need of reform when it comes to police accountability.”

The bench trials of Officer Edward Nero, Officer Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice all resulted in losses for the state. Prosecutors were set to try three other officers starting this week including Officer Miller, as well as Sgt. Alicia White in October, and Officer William Porter, whose original trial ended in a hung jury, in September.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was handcuffed and shackled but not secured in a seat belt during a 45-minute ride to a booking facility. He died April 19, 2015, a week after his neck was broken in the back of the van. His death and funeral touched off days of protests and rioting in Baltimore.

Many court watchers thought it wise for the state to cut its losses after several missteps including failure to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense team.

“It’s quite clear that the prosecution should not continue on,” Barry Slotnick, a prominent defense lawyer who has followed the trials in the Gray case, told The Washington Times after the acquittal of Lt. Rice this month. “The prosecution in the next three cases should strongly make a suggestion in court — on the record — that these cases have not been proven and will not be proven and therefore they should be dismissed.”

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