Officials react to latest officer acquittal in Freddie Gray case
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Lt. Brian Rice was cleared of all charges in the Freddie Gray case on Monday, the third Baltimore Police officer to be found not-guilty of all charges.
Officer Caesar Goodson and Officer Edward Nero have also been acquitted.
Four of six officers charged in the case have now stood trial, though the first ended in a hung jury.
After Rice's not-guilty verdict was announced, officials began releasing statements in response:
Senator Catherine E. Pugh
Today Judge Barry G. Williams found Lt. Brian Rice not guilty on all criminal charges. Now that a verdict has been delivered, the city must continue to exercise patience and respect for the judicial process. Even though there will be disagreements on this outcome, we have an opportunity to continue the public dialogue around police and community interaction - it is not an easy conversation but a necessary one if we are to solve the longstanding problems that exist.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Today Judge Barry G. Williams found Lt. Brian Rice not guilty of all criminal charges. Lt. Rice is the highest ranking officer charged in the Freddie Gray case. He was facing involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Now that the criminal case has come to an end, Lt. Rice will face an administrative review by the Police Department. This has been a very difficult time for our city and I thank the community for their patience during this time and ask their continued respect for the judicial process as we move forward.
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD)
Today Judge Barry G. Williams found Mr. Brian Rice not guilty of all charges. I thank Judge Williams for ensuring a fair process for all parties involved in this trial. I thank every Baltimore resident for respecting Judge Williams’ rulings and for expressing any frustrations constructively by engaging in peaceful protests. Like every city in America, Baltimore must continue to find ways to improve the relationships between our communities and police departments. While recent attacks on law enforcement in Dallas, Baton Rouge and in our own city have been painful reminders of the dangers our officers face on the job daily, we must continue making reforms to our police department. I am pleased that Commissioner Kevin Davis has worked to implement several reforms, including a commitment to recruiting the best officers to join the Baltimore Police Department; a mandate that all recruits spend more than 3 months engaging in community policing when they join the force; a plan to teach all recruits about Baltimore’s history and culture; and an updated and clearer use of force policy. I look forward to further reforms at the Baltimore Police Department. I believe that such reforms will go a long way toward creating and fostering a healthy relationship between police and the entire Baltimore community. We must turn toward each other, and not against each other.
THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED AS MORE STATEMENTS ARE RELEASED