Freddie Gray was murdered by police after an unlawful arrest, the Baltimore City state's attorney said Friday.
In a press conference, prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced 28 charges against all six officers involved in Gray's arrest, for crimes ranging from second-degree murder to manslaughter to misconduct. Somewhat unexpectedly, Mosby chose to file the charges herself rather than seeking an indictment from a grand jury, a move that expedites the process but means that her characterization of events has not been subjected to any external review.
Mosby described the April 12 incident that led to the death of the 25-year-old black man as plagued from the start by police who abused an innocent citizen, their authority, and the law. Officers had no probable cause for arresting Gray, who reportedly ran away after making eye contact with an officer and was apprehended after a short chase. While a search turned up a knife in his pocket, that blade was legal. Once arrested, the 25-year-old black man was assaulted and ultimately killed by the negligence and malice of officers, Mosby said.
“Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet, and unrestrained inside the BPD wagon,” she said, adding that officers had repeatedly erred in not seeking medical treatment for Gray. Once paramedics were called, they found Gray unable to breathe and in a state of cardiac arrest. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died on April 19. His death set off two weeks of protests in Baltimore and later nationwide.