The Wednesday morning of September 2, 2015 was a very uneasy morning for the residents of Baltimore, MD. This was the morning in which pre-trial hearings for the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray were to take place, and as expected, there were protestors who gathered outside the courthouse.
However, unlike the last time protestors took to the streets of Baltimore, these protestors received the news they wanted to hear. Judge Barry Williams denied motions by the officers’ attorneys to dismiss the charges against their clients and to recuse State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her office from the case as well. Judge Williams described the motions to remove Mosby as “mind boggling.” Defense attorneys tried to claim Mosby’s statements made on the day the charges were announce “poisoned the minds of potential jurors,” “basically trampled on the defendants’ fair trial rights,” and “made a fair trial difficult or possibly impossible.”
If there was any victory the defense attorneys could take from the day, it was that Judge Williams also ordered separate trials for the six officers involved.
For those that don’t remember the whole story, Freddie Gray, a 25 year-old Baltimore native, was arrested back in April of 2015. While in police custody, Gray suffered a severe spinal injury, and died as a result of it a week later. Outraged Baltimore residents took to the streets to protest and riot. It was so bad that the National Guard was called into Baltimore, and the mayor of Baltimore enforced a citywide “curfew;” no one was to be out in the streets after 10PM.
On May 1, 2015, State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that the six officers involved in Mr. Gray’s arrest and death would be facing criminal charges, and later that same month, they were indicted by a grand jury.
On September 8th, the city of Baltimore settled a lawsuit which was filed by Mr. Gray’s family, and agreed to pay $6.4 million. The settlement plan will go to the city’s spending oversight board Wednesday for formal approval, per USA Today.
This whole thing is not over, however; as the six officers are expected to be in court again on September 10.