ACLU of Maryland Statement on the Announcement that Charges Will Be Dropped Against Remaining Officers Regarding Freddie Gray
Contact: Meredith Curtis Goode, email@example.com or 410-889-8555
The following statement may be attributed to Deborah Jeon, Legal Director for the ACLU of Maryland:
"It is a travesty that not one Baltimore Police officer will be held accountable by the court in the killing of Freddie Gray.
"But those who claim that the outcomes of the cases mean that the officers should never have been prosecuted in the first place are just wrong. We cannot lose sight of the fact that criminally charging on-duty police officers in the killing of an unarmed Black man and taking them to trial was itself a historic moment for Baltimore. The trials brought to light the powerful structural barriers that protect police officers in cases of misconduct and brutality-our collective acceptance of police militarization, unequal legal standards, and the blue wall of silence, among other things. For too long, these barriers have been an excuse for not prosecuting officers in the first place.
"As Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby herself said, it is time for our elected and appointed officials to take responsibility for dismantling the structural barriers to police accountability.
"Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Baltimore's elected officials have an obvious place to start: Agree to put voting civilian members on police trial boards in misconduct investigations and refuse to cave to the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations happening right now. State officials should follow swiftly in Annapolis by changing the law to ensure that internal affairs investigations are not kept secret."
Read more ACLU of Maryland analysis of police accountability issues raised during the trials:
- On what's "reasonable" and the breakdown of police discipline, December 14, 2015
- Why was it legal to stop Freddie Gray?, May 23, 2016
- Will there be individualized justice or accountability for Mr. Gray's death?, June 23, 2016