Residents celebrate at the corner of W. North and Pennsylvania avenues after Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state attorney, announced criminal charges will be brought against the six officers associated with Freddie Gray's arrest. Gray's death was ruled a homicide and Mosby said his arrest was illegal. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
BALTIMORE, May 1 (UPI) -- Six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray were released from jail on bond late Friday as police arrested dozens of protesters and curfew breakers.
The four officers facing felony charges each posted $350,000 bail and the two facing misdemeanor charges each posted $250,000 bail. All six face multiple charges, including second-degree assault, a misdemeanor that comes with a possible 10-year sentence. One officer, Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., 45, was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, a felony with a possible 30-year sentence.
The others charged are Officer William G. Porter, 25; Lt. Brian W. Rice, 41; Sgt. Alicia D. White, 30; Officer Edward M. Nero, 29; and Officer Garrett E. Miller, 26. The six are expected in court on May 27.
Friday night, jubilant celebrations turned tense as police tried to clear the streets to enforce the 10 p.m. curfew. Police used megaphones from a helicopter to warn protesters to go home or get arrested. Baltimore police said by midnight 53 people had been arrested, including 15 for breaking the curfew. Police also reigned in the media by requiring only credentialed media enter "media zones."
Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, criticized what he called a rushed investigation and called for an special prosecutor. He said, "Our officers, like every other American, are entitled to due process."
"I have very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case," Ryan said in a letter on Twitter. that underscored donations to Mosby by Gray family attorney William Murphy.
"Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation," the letter continued. "In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or a violation of the Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility, I ask that you appoint a special prosecutor to determine whether or not any charges should be filed."
Also Friday, public funding site GoFundMe.com took down the union's attempted to raise $600,000 for the officers, saying it violates the site's policy.
Michael Davey, the union's attorney, said in a news conference "these officers did nothing wrong."
"No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and they are truly saddened by his death," he said.
Friday, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby concluded Gray's death a homicide following the medical examiner's determination of a homicide. She said there was probable cause to file criminal charges, adding Gray suffered critical neck injuries as a result of being handcuffed but not seat belted in the van.
She said Gray was arrested April 12 without cause, adding a knife found in his pocket was not illegal.
"The knife was not switch-bladed and it is lawful." She added the officers "failed to establish probable cause for an arrest."
"I heard your call for 'no justice, no peace,' " she said. "Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man."
Mosby said an investigation found officers bound Gray's ankles and wrists and left him stomach-down on the floor of the police van. She said the van's driver, Goodson, acted in a "grossly negligent manner" by continuing to drive around West Baltimore and make several stops despite Gray's repeated requests for medical attention.
By the time he was taken out of the van, Mosby said, Gray was "no longer breathing at all."
By Friday afternoon, all six police officers had been arrested.
Gray's family applauded the charges in a Friday evening news conference. Richard Shipley, Gray's stepfather, said the charges were an important step for getting justice.
He called for peaceful protests
"We ask that whoever comes to our city, a city that we love, a city that we live in, come in peace," Shipley said. "If you are not coming in peace, please don't come at all because this city needs to get back to work."
Gray family attorney Murphy called the announcement of charges "a momentous step on the road to justice for Freddie."
"We must seize this opportunity to reform police departments throughout this country so that there are no more days and times like this," he said.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was "sickened and heartbroken" to hear of the charges. She ordered Police Commissioner Anthony Batts to suspend all six officers without pay immediately; however, they had already been suspended with pay last week.
"To those of you who want to engage in brutality, misconduct, racism and corruption, let me be clear: There is no place for you in the Baltimore City Police Department," Rawlings-Blake said.
She pledged to "continue to be relentless in changing the culture of the police department."
Early Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama said it would "not be appropriate" to comment on ongoing legal proceedings, adding it is "absolutely vital that the truth comes out."
"I can tell you that justice needs to be served," Obama said in brief comments in the Oval Office. "All the evidence needs to be presented. What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That's what people around the country expect."
The following is a summary of the charges:
-- Goodson: Second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle, misconduct.
-- Porter: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct.
-- Rice: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct, false imprisonment.
-- Nero: Second-degree assault, misconduct, false imprisonment.
-- Miller: Second-degree assault, misconduct, false imprisonment.
-- White: Manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct.