This morning a judge acquitted a Baltimore Police officer of all charges of misconduct in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries he sustained while cuffed, but not secured, in a police van last year.
Lt. Brian Rice asked for a judge to hear his case rather than a full jury trial. Judge Barry Williams cleared Rice of all charges, which included involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. The same judge cleared two other officers of all charges earlier in the year.
Thus far, prosecutors in Baltimore have failed to secure any convictions for misconduct in the Gray case. There are two more officers facing charges (and one who may be retried after a hung jury led to a mistrial previously). The Baltimore Sun notes that state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is being pressured to drop the remaining cases, given the failures to land any convictions.
Though prosecutors may not be able to land convictions, the treatment that led to Gray’s death are hardly new or unfamiliar. There’s even a name for it—the “nickel ride”—where police deliberately place a suspect in restraints in a vehicle but don’t secure him with seat belts, resulting in him getting bounced around and injured during a lengthy drive around the city.