Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
A statement of arrest has been issued for officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.
Several key facts emerged in a press conference held by Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby this morning.
First and foremost: There is probable cause for criminal charges against six Baltimore Police Department officers in the death of Freddie Gray, including one charge of second-degree murder. *A statement of arrest has been issued for the officers, Mosby announced.
(UPDATE: All six officers are now in custody. A spokesperson for the mayor's office would not say if they turned themselves in or were arrested.)
Further, Gray was not in possession of a switchblade at the time of his apprehension. While police did discover a knife on his person after his arrest on April 12, Mosby told reporters, the blade of the knife was folded into the handle, and the knife was clipped to the inside of his pocket. Gray's possession of the knife was lawful under Maryland law, she said.
As a result, there was no probable cause for Gray's arrest in the first place.
"Lieutenant [Brian W.] Rice, Officer [Garrett E.] Miller, and Officer [Edward M.] Nero failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray's arrest, as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray," Mosby said. "Accordingly, Lieutenant Rice, Officer Miller, and Officer Nero illegally arrested Mr. Gray."
Baltimore police also never sought medical treatment for Gray, even after stopping the BPD van to check on his status and despite several appeals from Gray for a medic. Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., who was driving the police wagon, responded to a radio call for assistance, "despite Mr. Gray's obvious and recognized need for medical assistance," Mosby said.
Mosby addressed the severe spinal injury that led to Gray's death directly: "Mr. Gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet, and unrestrained inside of the BPD wagon."
Officer Goodson was charged with second-degree murder, the most serious charge brought against the six officers. Four officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter, among other charges: Goodson, Rice, Officer William G. Porter, and Sgt. Alicia D. White. Officers Miller and Nero were charged with second-degree assault.
The state's attorney took the spotlight today at a crucial moment in Baltimore history. She appeared ready for the part.
Mosby was sworn in as the youngest chief prosecutor in any major American city back in January. She said that she comes from a long line of law-enforcement officers, and that police should not read the charges brought forward today as an indictment of all police officers.
She spoke to both police officers and youthful demonstrators alike, speaking forcefully in her pleas for peace.
"To the youth of this city: I will deliver justice on your behalf," Mosby said during the press conference, calling for calm and peaceful protests. "This is a moment. This is your moment."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) held a press conference praising Mosby's investigation through tears.
"I believe with all my heart that she would take the facts ... size it up with the law, and make the right decision," Rep. Cummings said. He added, "Whatever her decision would be, because of her integrity, and the fact that I believed in her, I would accept that decision."
Mosby said that police-integrity investigators from her office launched an independent investigation into Gray's apprehension on April 13, well before his death.
"Over the course of our independent investigation in the untimely death of Mr. Gray, my team worked around the clock, 12- and 14-hour days, to canvass and interview dozens of witnesses," Mosby said. She added that state-attorney investigators watched hours of video footage and videotaped police statements, surveyed the route, reviewed medical records, and followed other leads.
The evidence collected by the state's attorney's office cannot be released publicly, she said, and is still being compiled.
"To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America," Mosby said, addressing reporters and cameras, "I heard your call for 'No Justice, No Peace.' Your peace is sincerely needed, as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man."
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
CORRECTION: A statement of arrest has been issued for the officers, not a warrant.