Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams has found Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson not guilty of all charges for the death of Freddie Gray. Goodson was charged with the second-degree depraved heart murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Goodson, 45, faced the most serious criminal charge in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was arrested by police and later died after suffering a severed spinal cord while in custody. Widespread outrage over his death led to days of violent uprising in the city.
Goodson was driving the police van in which Gray suffered his fatal spinal cord injury. The state argued that Goodson intended to engage in a practice known colloquially as a "rough ride," which consists of officers placing handcuffed arrestees in police cars and then driving erratically on purpose while the passenger flails uncontrollably in the backseat.
Goodson is the third of six Baltimore police officers to be tried in Gray's death, which happened in April 2015. The indictments, which were celebrated by police accountability advocates nationwide, when announced by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby in May 2015, have so far failed to secure convictions. Officer William Porter's trial ended with a hung jury and the judge declaring a mistrial in December. Five months later, in May, Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty on all charges.