Welp. In yet another surprise in the Freddie Gray case. The third, and highest-ranked officer involved in the death of the Baltimore man was found not guilty on all counts Monday morning.
NBC Washington 4 reports:
The highest-ranking Baltimore police officer charged in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray has been found not guilty on all counts, marking the third acquittal of an officer charged in the case.
Judge Barry Williams found Lt. Brian Rice not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office Monday.
In his verdict, Williams said the failure to seat belt a detainee in a transport wagon is not inherently a crime, adding that the state failed to prove both that Rice was aware of his duty to seat belt Gray, and that he intentionally failed in that duty.
Williams also said the state failed to show that Rice was aware of an updated policy that requires officers to buckle in prisoners. As a result, Williams said he operated under the impression that Rice was guided by a previous policy that allows for officer discretion when deciding when to belt.
Yes, you are reading this right. A man died from injuries sustained while in police custody and the highest-ranking officer, the one who is supposed to be in leadership, will not be going to jail because the judge ruled that he simply forgot to put on the arrested man’s seatbelt.
Rice is the third officer to be acquitted of the six that were charged with Gray‘s death. One other officer got off on a mistrial while two others are currently awaiting their trials. The two remaining officers have filed motions to dismiss their cases last month.
So essentially, the court system so far has ruled that no one killed Gray and no one can be held responsible for his death.
Continue reading to see the status of the officers involved in the case.