Baltimore prosecutors announced Wednesday that they were dropping the remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray. The news was met with shock and outrage by those hoping the high profile case would result in some form of justice for the man many believe was wrongly killed.
The announcement, made by Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby in a press conference Wednesday, should not have been wholly unexpected. Three other officers accused in the case had already been acquitted of similar and even more severe charges. As a result, convictions were not considered likely for the remaining three officers. Even still, an autopsy had ruled the death of Gray a homicide, leaving many asking how no one could be held accountable.
"After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without communal oversight of police in this community, without substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it and we would still end up with the same result," Mosby said in her press conference.
Gray, 25, was arrested in April and placed in a police van in handcuffs. Some eyewitness accounts allege that officers were unnecessarily forceful in the arrest, while the Baltimore Police Department disputes those claims. When the van arrived at the police station, Gray slipped into a coma and was in need of treatment for multiple spinal injuries. Gray died a week later at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Police claim that Gray injured himself while in the van.
While Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has not yet addressed the news and her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, has called on Mosby to "prosecute herself," Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein expressed solidarity with those pursuing justice for Gray.
Many other celebrities and noted social justice advocates joined Stein in taking to social media to express their disapproval, including Black Lives Matter supporter and actor Jesse Williams, journalist Shaun King, filmmaker Ava DuVernay and producer Russell Simmons.
Rapper Killer Mike claimed the Democratic Party's inclusion of the Mothers of the Movement, a group of black women who have lost children to violence involving law enforcement, in the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday constituted hypocrisy.