Freddie Gray | WYPR

Freddie Gray

WYPR, WEAA and NPR collection of stories around the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

The Daily Dose 6-24-20

Jun 24, 2020
WYPR

Maryland hasn’t dealt with some 34 thousand residents who are still waiting to be processed for unemployment insurance. Baltimore County’s School Board cuts back a planned pay raise for teachers. Plus, a conversation with Wes Moore about racial inequity, police reform, and what the rest of the country might learn from Baltimore’s experience.

Rachel Baye / WYPR


  Thousands of people marched across Baltimore for a second consecutive weekend in multiple demonstrations to protest racism and police brutality and demand equal treatment under the law.

Emily Sullivan / WYPR

As the country approaches the end of a second week of protests over police abuse of black Americans, state and local leaders in Maryland are calling for reforms, including changes to state laws governing police. Many of the proposed changes have been attempted before unsuccessfully, but some lawmakers say this time is different.

The Daily Dose 6-2-20

Jun 2, 2020
Wendel Patrick, Out of the Blocks

On Election Day, remote ballot issues force thousands to show up at the polls in Baltimore. Plus, civil unrest rages in other cities, but Baltimore is being held up as an example of powerful, peaceful protest. The head of West Baltimore’s No Boundaries Coalition talks about lessons learned in the wake of Freddie Gray and the hard work ahead.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

This weekend, demonstrators in Baltimore City joined thousands who took to the streets in cities large and small across the nation protesting the killing of George Floyd. In Baltimore, many of those who want justice for Floyd – a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes – expressed open wounds left by the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police five years ago. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan reports. 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Happy Memorial Day, and welcome to Midday.

The poet Langston Hughes asked “What happens to a dream deferred?” “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load,” he observed. “Or does it explode?” Five years ago, Baltimore did explode in a paroxysm of violence that has come to be known as “The Uprising.”

Today on this encore edition of Midday, we reflect on The Uprising with six people whose roots are in West Baltimore, who work with those who were most significantly affected in 2015 and who have been part of the positive change that the community has experienced, even as it continues to confront long standing challenges. This show originally aired on April 27, 2020.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On this special edition of Midday, six reflections on the April 27, 2015 Uprising, and how the community at the epicenter of that unrest - Sandtown-Winchester - has fared since a 25-year old black man named Freddie Gray died from injuries he sustained while in police custody.  At the heart of the protests and the rioting that erupted after Gray's funeral: anger and frustration with a system steeped in racism, inequity and apathy; and a police force that operated with seeming impunity...

(Special Election Notice - 7th Congressional District - Click to Read)

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky


  Five years ago, Joe Jones, the director of the Center for Urban Families got to work early at around 7:30 a.m.  He managed to get a few hours of work done before it was time to head directly across the street to New Shiloh Baptist Church, where Freddie Gray’s funeral was about to start. 

“I could not believe the assemblage of the national media that had descended on a community that wasn't there when I got to work,” he remembered. 

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

Freddie Gray, a young black man from the city’s west side, died from a severe spinal cord injury suffered while in police custody on April 19, 2015.

His death touched off demonstrations and unrest and it raised crucial questions about the relationship between city police and the black community.

And even police had questions. The day after Gray’s death, Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez told reporters there were things he knew and things he didn’t know.

Young Activists After The Uprising

Apr 23, 2020
AP Photo/David Goldman

Five years after Freddie Gray died in police custody, we trace the impact of the Baltimore Uprising on young activists and organizers. Young people were at the center of the Uprising, demanding that those in power address injustice, police misconduct and more. Organizing Black's Michaela Duchess Brown, who grew up a few blocks from Gray, had already been organizing for eight years in 2015. She says the Uprising sparked a change in youth activism in the city. Plus, Jamie Grace Alexander, a black student activist formerly with the Baltimore Transgender Alliance, and Lana Weidgenant, of the climate justice group Zero Hour, tell us what the Uprising meant to them.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

The Baltimore City Police Department is in a state of disrepair - worse than people originally thought, and it will take millions of dollars and years longer than anticipated to fix it, according to the monitor overseeing the reforms.

The department “is a dysfunctional organization, a highly dysfunctional organization,” Kenneth Thompson, the monitor, told the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Thursday. “Its policies were poor, its staffing is poor, its technology is poor.”

The system for keeping track of simple things like how often officers stop and frisk people is so outdated that it’s backed up for years, he said.

Police trial board to hear closing arguments in Rice case

Nov 16, 2017

Closing arguments are expected today in the disciplinary trial of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Rice. Lieutenant Rice was the commanding officer during the incident that lead to the death of Freddie Gray in April of 2015. Yesterday, the defense called three witnesses – two of whom we heard from during the disciplinary trial for Officer Caesar Goodson. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi tells Nathan Sterner about their testimony, and previews today’s proceedings.

Goodson trial ends; verdict may not be disclosed

Nov 7, 2017
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Closing arguments were delivered Monday in the administrative trial for Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver in the Freddie Gray case. It's possible the outcome of the hearing will never be known. That's because while police trial boards are open to the public, Maryland law prevents the results of such cases from being released publicly. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi has been following the disciplinary trial and talks about it with Nathan Sterner.

What is a trial board? What rights do officers have?

Oct 30, 2017

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver in the Freddie Gray case, will go before a Baltimore City Police Department trial board today. Goodson, who was acquitted on criminal charges in the April 2015 incident, faces departmental charges of misconduct.

Outcomes of Freddie Gray trial boards may remain private

Oct 11, 2017
Baltimore Police

Trial boards for three of the five Baltimore police officers involved in the Freddie Gray case are to begin this month in public, but their results may remain private.

The hearings for Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice, and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. may be open, but City Solicitor Andre Davis says it could be difficult making the outcomes of those hearings public.

Visions: Sandtown Mural & Art Project

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about the Justice Department not finding sufficient evidence in federal criminal charges on the six Baltimore City police officers involved in Freddie Gray Jr.'s death on April 19, 2015. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the NAACP, and Maryland Democratic Congressmen all weigh in giving their reactions.


P. Kenneth Burns

Prosecutors defended Thursday their investigation and strategy in the case of Freddie Gray, who died from injuries suffered in police custody. 

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said in a news conference they believed in the case and were prepared to continue with the trials.  But State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby determined that they had to be realistic.

“Mrs. Mosby correctly determined that we had to face the reality [that] defendants would select judge trials,” he said.  “And that this judge made determinations and that he had seen the significant portions of the evidence that he was going to see.”

Schatzow added he “obviously” disagrees with Williams’ view and that “there should have been guilty verdicts.”

BPD's new use of force policy: What's changed?

Jul 28, 2016

In her news conference Wednesday, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby blamed the legal system for her inability to convict any of the six police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case.

"Without real substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result," she said.

The trials of six officers in the Freddie Gray case came to an end Wednesday morning when prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining officers facing trial; Officers Garrett Miller and William Porter along with Sgt. Alicia White.

Prosecutors failed to win a conviction in the case. Officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice were acquitted in May, June and July, respectively.

Porter’s original trial ended in a deadlocked jury last December.

Miller trial will have some differences

Jul 26, 2016
Baltimore Police

Pre-trial motions in the trial of Officer Garrett Miller will be heard Wednesday at Courthouse East.

Miller, one of six officers charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, will be the fifth officer brought to trial in the case.

This trial will have some differences from the previous four.

A tale of two Ryans

Jul 22, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

As you’d expect, Lt. Gene Ryan was a satisfied man Monday when Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted of all charges in Freddie Gray’s death.

Ryan, the head of Baltimore’s police union, has been among the most vocal critics of the charges filed against six police officers in the case and of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.  And some of that criticism has been inflammatory.

Another acquittal. Now what?

Jul 20, 2016

    

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR news team, take up the latest developments in the Freddie Gray case and what it may mean for future prosecutions.

Third officer in Freddie Gray case acquitted

Jul 18, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking officer among the six charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, was acquitted Monday of all the charges against him by Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray.  Gray suffered a severe spinal injury in the back of a police van.  He died a week later.

Rice Trial: Williams to render verdict Monday

Jul 17, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams is expected to announce his verdict in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice Monday morning.

Rice is the highest ranking officer charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray.  He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

Gray died from a spinal injury suffered in the back of a police van.

Rice could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the top count; the manslaughter charge.

Prosecutors say Rice should have been a leader

Jul 14, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The fate of Lt. Brian Rice is now in the hands of Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Williams heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Rice, the highest ranking officer in the Freddie Gray case. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in Gray’s death last year.

Judge Williams said he will render his verdict at 10 a.m. Monday.

Rice Trial: Defense has a variety of closing options

Jul 13, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

In their closing arguments, prosecutors are expected to suggest Lt. Brian Rice, as senior officer, knew more than anyone the dangers of not seat belting Freddie Gray in the back of a police van last year.  Defense attorneys will say Rice was concerned about the safety of his fellow officers and Gray as a crowd at the arrest scene became hostile.

Those arguments are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.

Rice Trial: A feeling of déjà vu

Jul 13, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice will spend  Wednesday preparing their closing arguments for Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams. They’re scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.

Rice is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in last year’s death of Freddie Gray from a severe spinal injury suffered while being transported in the back of a police van.

This trial, the fourth of an officer charged in Gray’s death, feels like Groundhog Day: allegations similar to the previous trial, similar evidence, similar witnesses.

Rice Trial: Defense rests, closing arguments Thursday

Jul 12, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The defense rested its case Tuesday in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice; the highest ranking officer among six charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray.

Lawyers for Rice called four witnesses, including two medical experts that testified in the morning.

Prosecutor challenges rise during Rice trial

Jul 12, 2016
Baltimore Police

The dismissal of the second degree assault charge against Lt. Brian Rice is just another setback for prosecutors in the Freddie Gray case who have yet to secure a conviction through three trials.

Officer William Porter’s trial ended in a hung jury last December.  He is to be re-tried in September.  Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson were acquitted by Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams in May and June, respectively.

And prosecutors have been having a hard time proving Rice bears any responsibility for Gray’s April 2015 death from a severe spinal injury.  

In addition to Circuit Judge Barry Williams' dismissal of the assault charge, prosecutors dropped one count of misconduct in office stemming frmo Gray's initial detainment.

The remaining charges against Rice are involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and another misconduct in office count.

Rice Trial: State rests, assault dismissed

Jul 11, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams dismissed Monday the charge of second degree assault against Lt. Brian Rice.  He did so after the state rested its case.

Williams said while prosecutors have shown that Rice did not put Freddie Gray in a seatbelt, he was “not satisfied” that the state had shown evidence that Rice committed assault.

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