It’s been more than two years since 25-year-old Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained while he was in the back of a police transport wagon. Gray’s death sparked outrage throughout the United States and prompted the Justice Department — which was, at the time, led by Obama-appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch — to open an investigation into allegations of discriminatory practices and unlawful arrests by Baltimore police officers.
As a result of this investigation, the Justice Department released a report in August of last year detailing widespread patterns of abuse and misconduct within the Baltimore Police Department.
Lynch said about the results of the investigation:
‘Our investigation found that Baltimore is a city where the bonds of trust have been broken, and that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, ranging from the use of excessive force to unjustified stops, seizures and arrests.’
In January, the Justice Department also entered into a court-enforceable agreement with the city of Baltimore to reform its police department.
These steps seemed to indicate that the officers would also be held responsible for Gray’s death. However, things have changed now that Jeff Sessions is leading the Justice Department, and it was revealed on Tuesday that the department will not be bringing federal charges against the officers.
According to the Associated Press, three of the officers were acquitted at trial, and the remaining state cases were later dropped by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Billy Murphy, the Gray family’s attorney, told the AP that he was informed on Tuesday about the Justice Department’s decision.
Five of the officers — Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and officers Caesar Goodson, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller — still face internal disciplinary hearings, which are scheduled to begin on October 30. The sixth officer, William Porter, was not charged administratively.
The attorneys representing the officers have expressed relief that their clients will not be federally charged.
Rice’s attorney, Michael Belsky, said:
‘These cases were never criminal and should never have been charged as such.’
Joe Murtha, who represents Porter, also said he was relieved the department “determined that there wasn’t a basis to move forward with the civil rights action” and said that they made “a good decision.”
Learn more about the Justice Department’s decision in the video below, courtesy of ABC News:
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.