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Baltimore Officer who Drove Prisoner Van Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Death

June 23, 2016  | 

The Baltimore Police officer who drove the van in the Freddie Gray case was found not guilty on all charges this morning in a bench trial presided over by Judge Barry Williams.

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 46, had faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray’s death last April, including a second degree depraved heart murder charge. In addition to the murder charge, Goodson was also charged with three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Some protesters have gathered outside the courthouse. The Baltimore Police are on alert and the governor of Maryland says the National Guard is available.


Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

Deputy Moose @ 6/23/2016 8:24 AM

Sounds like justice for Officer Goodson. However, the taxpayers of Baltimore will have to bear the injustice of a siginificant civil law suite.

ron martinelli @ 6/23/2016 8:27 AM

The only just decision Hon. Judge Barry Williams should have made in this case. As I have written in my new book, "The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement and the War on Police" (Amazon.com) which is excerpted in POLICE Magazine this month; this was a politically driven and unjust prosecution of all of the officers involved in the "in-custody" death case of Freddie Gray from the start. I predict that if the prosecutors are smart (which they have demonstrated they are not); they will drop the prosecutions of the remaining three officers. They never had a case from the start and are now 0-3. I hope you will read my book to learn more about this and other false narratives against police.

Dr. Ron Martinelli
Forensic Criminologist/Police Expert
Certified Medical Investigator

David Fallert @ 6/23/2016 8:30 AM

Excellent news! I wonder if Marilyn Mosby was a no-show for this verdict, too...

William Zepp Sr @ 6/23/2016 9:02 AM

There wasn't another verdict to be given in this case. I'm damned happy the Judge did the absolute right thing. This Officer was doing his Job as were the other Officers. His agency should have been behind him from day one and the douche bag prosecutor has no business being a prosecutor and the Mayor is nothing more then a coward. Freddie Gray should have been taught by his parents to be a good productive citizen and he was Not.
The protestors are nothing more then common criminals and deserve whatever comes their way when they start their crap again over this Judicial Decision that is in Fact the only fair and right decision that could have been reach.
God Bless All of our Baltimore Officers that were Infact Wrongly Accused in this case.
#backtheblue

UncleMike @ 6/23/2016 9:05 AM

Good....
Now the Prosecutor needs to be charged with malfeasance and removed from office.
Her hatred for Law Enforcement negates her ability to fairly execute her Prosecutorial duties with any semblance of competency.

Tom Rowe. @ 6/23/2016 9:44 AM

These Cops were thrown to the wolves just to quickly appease the ill informed masses and the Liberal Media who found them guilty before all the facts were in. The Media will deliberately omit facts that favor the police officers just to advance their anti-police message. The Prosecutor should resign for bringing these cops up on charges in the first place & caving to spineless politicians.

Question before banned @ 6/23/2016 11:04 AM

I am sure this will get deleted, but I will at least ask the question to maybe start some honest debate:
This board claims this was a biased prosecution (perhaps it was); yet the fact remains (never disputed in court) that the van driver did not buckle up the the person in back.

However, here is another article:
http://www.sltrib.com/home/3856497-155/utah-mother-faces-negligent-homicide-charges
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126903

Now, for the comments that will be banned:
1. Is the case in utah a rogue prosecution also? isn't this the same: a person responsible for the safety of another fails in their duties?
3. Do police get a pass, because this was just a "mistake" or simple negligence (not following policy)...while the citizens of this country are held to a higher standard? This seems backwards to me?
4. Is a car seat a higher standard or protection than a seat belt...in the eyes of the law (GA)?
5. Are the laws that much different in GA & UT...than MD?

kevcopAz @ 6/23/2016 12:35 PM

"question before banned". Well in 35 yrs I have NEVER seen any citizen held and or prosecuted for manslaughter in death of an adult (the driver IS responsible for ALL passengers) or even a child dies unrestrained. So much for your "citizens held to higher standard" stuff. If you fall your logic many, many folks would be prosecuted. You fail to understand the evidence that Gray was banging his own head on the van and apparently trying to injure himself according to a fellow prisoner. Now lets hold your standard of conduct when it comes to prosecutorial misconduct. If an officer falsely arrests, "thinking the subject did it but later a court finds that they did not, the officer IS held responsible. Now its time to hold that prosecutor to the same standard and prosecute her. You know that wont happen, she is a lawyer, a politician and a minority. Remember the prosecutor in Carolina (Duke case) he was disbarred if I'm not incorrect. Lets see what the Maryland Bar does (yah right)

old deputy @ 6/23/2016 12:37 PM

To 'questions before banned'. Yes we in LE should be held accountable and we generally are. The issue with this case, and some other recent cases, is the public condemnation of the officers by public officials in the early stages of the investigation and the gross overcharging. Public citizens are innocent until proven guilty, as it should be. We are seeing a trend indicating Law Enforcement are guilty until proven innocent, which then results in violent demonstrations.

Questions Before Banned @ 6/23/2016 12:51 PM

KevCopAz: Did you follow the posts is posted?

old deputy: First, the things we agree on:
--Prosecutors overcharge cases: But this really seems to happen all of the time. I see many cases where a person charged with 20 offenses, pleads guilty to 1 or 2. Maybe the difference is that it is now happening in LEO related cases.
I would consider the 2 examples above to be 'over charging'...but I guess some would not.
--Public rhetoric: Again, I agree there is too much...but there is too much on both sides. Bottom line, many people don't really trust the police.

Don't agree on:
I think there is a difference between your version of 'innocent until proven guilty' and mine?
--I don't think any of the LEO in these cases spent any time in jail (overnight?). and they are still being paid by the City. I don't see how they were guilty until proven innocent?
It seems to me they have admitted to breaking police policy; so I assume they will face discipline for that?

Tom Ret @ 6/23/2016 1:58 PM

Questions before banned- There is a reason why cops are resigning or retiring early in unprecedented numbers as agencies are having trouble filling their ranks. I would suggest to you that if you want no one willing to do the job keep charging them with homicide for failure to seat belt a suspect. If you think that charge was appropriate, I would urge you to get out there and show the cops how it should be done. If you are ever bit in the neck by a drug infected suspect you are trying to seatbelt, you will find out why officers are reluctant to do that, policy or no policy. It is easy to criticize the cops when it isn't your butt
on the line. If you feel that strongly in your beliefs then get your ass out there.
A lot of junior officers are leaving today after reality hits them in the face of what is expected while empathy by the public is at an all time low. If you don't want to back the cops then don't be surprised when they don't show up or quit
being proactive.

Tom ret @ 6/23/2016 3:21 PM

Questions before banned- I did the job, you obviously didn't. Like I said, if you think the job is so easy and clear cut get your ass out there. You are talking out of ignorance as street cops don't make policy. I lived the reality of the job for 3 decades so I don't need/want theory told to me by someone who has not handled one police call. Maybe you should listen to those who have actually done the job and speak out of experience and learn something. Policy is often written by administrators who are not subjected to the downside if something goes wrong and seldom leave the office so is no skin off their nose. The policy may even be ambiguous, unworkable or out of date. Policy is a guide, not the ten commandments. From your comment, should I assume you would be willing to be killed or seriously injured as long as you were following policy? You may only last one day but you would be within policy. I will be critical of cops who are dishonest, brutal, unethical and or unprofessional.

tedb @ 6/23/2016 4:28 PM

"QBB"; Welcome back Percy, we missed you. It is nice, however, that you have cleaned up your rhetoric. Hey, does anyone know what happened to "SES"? I was on vacation for a couple of weeks and haven't seen him since I returned.

Nightstalker @ 6/23/2016 4:59 PM

I kicked SES out of the room tedb, [smiles] No i have not seen him.

LegAdv @ 6/23/2016 5:22 PM

Time to do the right thing, Ms. Mosby. Move for dismissal with prejudice of the remaining cases and submit your resignation.

Retired NY Boss @ 6/23/2016 6:29 PM

Good Guys 3, Prosecutor 0.

DD16 @ 6/24/2016 7:32 AM

Percy, you are such a cop hater. I would like to point out that you never comment on any articles where the police did something good, like recently when a Florida Officer sacrificed his own life to save a citizen etc. Really, these stories are out there and as a matter of fact, on this site. I recommend you go to your local agency and do a ride along, I will guarantee that at the first sign of trouble or confrontation, you will be curled up in the corner sucking your thumb and wanting your Mommy. You really don't have a clue.

DD16 @ 6/25/2016 4:19 AM

Concerned Citizen; we in law enforcement take care of our own dirty laundry and weed out bad apples or as you say cops who lye. We are much harsher on our own officers when they screw up than the public would ever be. Please don't get caught up with the "all cops are bad" type attitude that a lot of people have today due to social media & new media only pointing out what cops do wrong. Example: If a cop retires and 30 years later after retirement does something stupid, the media will always put in front of the story "former police officer". This is not fare at all and it has nothing to do with the issue but it sells newspapers. Cops do great things everyday but nobody hears about that since it's not news. Just don't get caught up in the hype is all I'm saying. Just count how many cops you hear bad things about and consider there are over 900 thousand officers in the United States, maybe this will put it in a better perspective.

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