The Latest: Baltimore’s likely next mayor speaks about Gray


BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the case against officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in police custody (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

A Baltimore lawmaker who is expected to become the city’s next mayor says she’s looking forward to continuing conversations on how to build better relationships between police and the community.

State Sen. Catherine Pugh is the Democratic nominee for mayor in a city that overwhelmingly elects Democratic mayors. She made her comments Wednesday after all charges were dropped against police officers in Freddie Gray’s death.

Pugh says the city needs to build confidence that residents as well as police can feel safe when they leave their homes each day.

She says it’s part of a bigger conversation about police training, increasing diversity and community relations.

Pugh was the co-chair of a panel of state lawmakers that put together police reform legislation, which passed this year. It makes a variety of changes to the police disciplinary process, hiring and training.

___

4:20 p.m.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says reforms in the police department will continue to move forward after charges were dropped against the three Baltimore police officers who were still awaiting trial in Freddie Gray’s death.

Rawlings-Blake told The Associated Press at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday that reforms and efforts to bridge the divide between the community and the police are needed to make a world-class department.

Gray died a week after he was gravely injured in the back of a police van. In the wake of his death, the mayor ended her re-election campaign. The mayor has taken on a prominent role at the podium during the party’s convention in Philadelphia.

___

3:10 p.m.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the state’s attorney’s decision to drop the remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers was a thoughtful one that will help the city forward.

Davis said in a statement Wednesday that since the quality of the investigation has been called into question, he wanted to remind residents that over 30 ethical, experienced and talented detectives worked tirelessly to uncover facts.

Earlier in the day, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said blamed the police investigation of bias and reluctance.

Davis says those same detectives investigated and criminally charged a Baltimore police officer who is presently on trial for attempted murder. He says they are more than willing to hold people who commit crimes accountable for their actions.

___

Several activists are questioning members of a Baltimore City Council spending panel for signing off on $26 million in police expenditures.

The money was needed for extra police expenses that resulted from overtime, police assistance from other jurisdictions, preparations for the officers’ trials and other costs related to last year’s unrest after the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who was critically injured in the back of a police van.

At a hearing in City Hall on Wednesday, activists compared the money to bonuses for police. They said police are not held accountable in court for their actions or in spending.

They say the money should be spent on improving police and community relations to de-escalate tensions.

The spending panel’s actions came hours after prosecutors decided to drop the remaining charges for officers in the Gray case.

The full City Council will take up the spending next month.

___

1:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is calling a Baltimore prosecutor “a disgrace” after her office decided to drop the remaining charges against three police officers still awaiting trial in the Freddie Gray case.

Responding to a question at a news conference at his Florida golf course, Trump said on Wednesday that Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby “should prosecute herself. She should be held accountable.”

Trump said, “I think it was disgraceful what she did. And the way she did it and the news conferences she had where, they were guilty before anybody even knew the facts.”

In an earlier news conference, Mosby blamed police for a biased investigation that failed to produce a single conviction.

___

1:15 p.m.

The head of the police union in Baltimore says justice has been served after prosecutors decided to drop the remaining charges against three officers awaiting trial.

Gene Ryan, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said Wednesday that the detectives in the case did a thorough job and he called the state’s attorney’s comments “outrageous” and untrue.

Earlier, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby blamed police for a biased investigation that failed to produce a single conviction.

Ryan says Mosby’s office couldn’t accept the evidence and she had her own agenda.

___

12:45 p.m.

Activists in Baltimore say they are angry and disappointed by prosecutors’ decision to drop the remaining charges against three police officers awaiting trial in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in custody.

Sharon Black is an organizer for the Peoples Power Assembly, which has been holding rallies and protests in the city. She said she thinks the anger will build and build in the community again because police aren’t being held accountable.

Gray’s death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, set off massive protests in the city and led to the worst riots the city had seen in decades.

Tawanda Jones is a Baltimore activist whose brother Tyrone West died three years ago after an encounter with Baltimore police. She said she was sad, but expected that none of the officers would be held accountable after observing how the previous trials have gone. Three officers had been acquitted by a judge.

___

12:30 p.m.

The head of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP says she is disappointed by prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges in the case of Freddie Gray, a young black man who was injured in police custody.

Tessa Hill-Aston said Wednesday that she thinks the state’s attorney’s office did a “remarkable job.” She says she wanted the remaining officers to continue going through the legal process, but that she understands the decision.

As a result of the prosecution, she says there were police reforms, including a policy that all officers have body-worn cameras.

___

11:25 a.m.

The mother of Freddie Gray is blaming police for her son’s death and accusing officers of lying to investigators.

Gloria Darden spoke Wednesday after prosecutors said they were dropping the charges against the officers awaiting trial in her son’s death. Darden says police “lied, I know they lied, and they killed him.”

In a fiery defense of her case, prosecutor Marilyn Mosby blamed police for an investigation that failed to hold anyone accountable for the death of Gray, a young black man. Gray’s neck was snapped in the back of a police van, and he died a week after his injury.

Mosby says she stands by the finding that Gray’s death was a homicide, saying “we do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself.”

___

11:20 a.m.

The father of Freddie Gray says the family stands by the Baltimore prosecutor who led the case against six officers charged in his son’s death.

Richard Shipley said during a news conference Wednesday that the family “is proud to have her represent us.” The prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, announced earlier in the day that she was dropping charges against the remaining officers awaiting trial in the case.

In a fiery defense of her prosecution, Mosby blamed police for an investigation that failed to hold anyone accountable for the death of Gray, a young black man. Gray’s neck was snapped in the back of a police van, and he died a week after his injury.

Mosby says she stands by the finding that Gray’s death was a homicide, saying “we do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself.”

___

11:15 a.m.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is defending the prosecution of six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case and says she still blames police for the young black man’s death.

Mosby spoke Wednesday near the site of Gray’s arrest in April 2015. Her comments came after prosecutors told a judge that they were dropping the remaining charges against three officers. Three other officers were acquitted.

Mosby says prosecutors do not believe that Gray killed himself when he was handcuffed and shackled in the back of a police van and stand by the medical examiner’s finding that his death was a homicide.

She declined to take questions, citing a lawsuit the officers have filed against her.

Attorneys for the officers planned a news conference for later Wednesday.

___

9:45 a.m.

Prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction.

Gray was a black man who was critically injured in the back of a police van in April 2015.

Prosecutors’ decision Wednesday comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.

A fourth officer had his case heard by a jury, who deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.

The death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement and caused turmoil in Baltimore, including large protests and the worst riots the city had seen in decades.

___

3:15 a.m.

Pretrial motions are scheduled to begin for a Baltimore police officer facing criminal charges in the arrest and subsequent death of a young man black whose neck was broken in a police van.

Officer Garrett Miller faces assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges stemming from Freddie Gray’s death in April 2015.

Prosecutors say Miller illegally arrested Gray after the young man ran away from a bike patrol officer and was criminally negligent for failing to buckle Gray into a seatbelt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.

Miller testified against his colleagues at previous trials and will be tried by two prosecutors new to the case. Six officers, three white and three black, were charged in Gray’s death. So far, trials for four of the officers have led to three acquittals and a mistrial.

comments powered by Disqus