Baltimore Protests Continue After Police Officers Charged

Baltimore Protests Continue  After Police Officers ChargedBaltimore Protests Continue  After Police Officers Charged

Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Baltimore again despite the charging of six police officers over the death of a 25-year-old African American whose spine was snapped in custody.

The charges -- ranging from second-degree murder and manslaughter to misconduct -- were set out in a surprise announcement by Maryland state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, France24 reported.

All six officers were arrested and appeared before a judicial officer. Bail was set at $350,000 for four of the officers and $250,000 for the other two, according to court records. By late Friday, court records showed the officers had been released from jail.

The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who was driving the van that carried Freddie Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Along with involuntary manslaughter, Officer Goodson, 45, was charged with “second-degree depraved heart murder,” which means indifference to human life.

 The death of Freddie Gray, 25, just the latest black American to lose his life at the hands of police, has reignited simmering resentment in the US over police tactics, particularly in their dealings with African Americans.

“The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide ... have led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Mosby said.

Mosby said Gray “suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained” inside a moving police van following his arrest on April 12.

Cheers broke out when Mosby unveiled the charges on the steps of Baltimore’s war memorial, across the street from city hall, a focal point of protests demanding justice and change.

The Gray family said it was satisfied with the charges. “We must seize this opportunity to reform police departments throughout this country,” said the family’s lawyer.