Officer Who Drove Police Van Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Case

Illustration for article titled Officer Who Drove Police Van Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Case

Another officer has been acquitted of any wrongdoing in the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury during a “rough ride” while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department on April 12, 2015.

Caesar R. Goodson Jr. faced seven charges including involuntary manslaughter, criminal negligence and reckless endangerment. Goodson was the officer driving the van during the ride. Via The New York Times

“The court finds there is insufficient evidence that the defendant gave or intended to give Mr. Gray a rough ride,” said Judge Barry G. Williams, reading his ruling softly but clearly in a cavernous downtown courtroom. Judge Williams said that had not been “evidence presented at this trial that the defendant intended for any crime to happen.”


Goodson’s exoneration follows the mistrial of William Porter and a not guilty verdict for Edward M. Nero. With three of the six trials now concluded, not one person has been found responsible for the death of Freddie Gray because apparently he climbed into the back of a police van on his own accord and his spinal cord just decided to sever itself.

When the six Baltimore police officers were indicted for Gray’s death last spring, it felt like this might be one of the few times where cops would be held responsible for the disregard of black lives. We thought perhaps our legal system would finally recognize that a few months of training and a badge doesn’t give you the country to murder people as you see fit. That hope, even with the charges brought against the officers, seemed naive last year and as these trials are showing us, it’s still a fantasy now.

Image via Getty.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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He intended to bully and intimidate and hurt a suspect, didn’t he? He may not have intended for him to die, but since when does that matter? Vehicular manslaughter is a crime without intent, so is criminal negligence.