Baltimore, MD – Two Baltimore Police Officers have agreed to be disciplined for their role in the Freddie Gray case.
Michael Davey, an attorney for the Baltimore police union, said that Officer Garrett Miller and Officer Edward Nero don’t believe they violated any policies or procedures, but “accepted the disciplinary action to move on from this unfortunate incident and continue their careers”, according to Fox News.
Both Officer Miller and Officer Nero accepted what was described as “minor disciplinary action,” instead of appearing before a departmental trial board, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Davey said, “The most important factor in deciding to accept the disciplinary action was to ensure they continue their employment with the Baltimore Police Department so they can support themselves and their families.”
Officer Miller is back to full-time duty at the department’s marine unit, and Officer Nero is back to full-time duty in the department’s aviation unit.
Davey did not confirm what the discipline was, but both officers were facing a five day suspension before they opted for a trial board. With the acceptance of discipline, their trial boards have been canceled.
Officer Caesar Goodson, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt Alicia White have trial boards scheduled and all face termination for their roles in the case. No information has been released about what policies they are alleged to have violated.
After the in-custody death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, the six officers had been criminally charged in his death.
Issues with the prosecution of the six Baltimore officers were immediately apparent when charges were filed. After Freddie Gray’s death, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby alleged that Gray was arrested without probable cause, assaulted, and falsely accused of carrying an illegal switchblade..
Without waiting for an investigation to be completed, or reviewing all of the details of the case, she quickly brought charges on all officers involved in the arrest, and had them arrested when there was no apparent probable cause for their arrest.
The six officers had charges ranging from second-degree depraved-heart murder to manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. The most severe charges centered around the officers failing to seatbelt Gray in the back of the transport van, which is likely the policy violation which Officer Caesar Goodson, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt Alicia White are set to be fired for.
The state’s entire criminal case was built on the theory that officers could not assist each other with any part of an arrest without fully reviewing the other officer’s evidence and probable cause and making their own independent determination that the arrest was lawful. Impractical at any time, impossible with a violent or resisting suspect.
Lieutenant Rice, Officer Nero, and Officer Goodson were acquitted by a judge during bench trials last year. The remaining charges against Baltimore Police Officers Porter and Miller, and Sergeant White were then dropped by Mosby when it was obvious that she didn’t actually have a valid case against the officers.
Five of the six officers have filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen for malicious prosecution. Cogen wrote the statements of probable cause against the officers at a time when no probable cause appeared to exist.
The latest discipline is unlikely to affect the civil case against Marilyn Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen.