Verdict reached on Baltimore van driver in Freddie Gray case

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MARYLAND — Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the Baltimore police van in which suspect Freddie Gray died while in custody in April 2015, was found not guilty on all administrative charges in a hearing Tuesday.

Following Gray’s arrest in April 2015, he was being transported in a police van when he suffered a spinal cord injury and died a week later.

Video taken during his arrest showed Gray refusing to walk on his own after he was handcuffed and officers were trying to stand him up. While in the police van, he reportedly “banged around” in the back of the vehicle while was handcuffed and shackled.

Goodson was criticized for failing to buckle Gray into a seatbelt and failing to get him medical attention during the trip to the police station. Seatbelts had become mandatory just days before Gray’s arrest, and his lawyers blamed the police department for failing to properly distribute information on the policy change.

A forensic pathologist who testified last week for the defense said Gray would still have had the ability to hit his head even if he had been confined by a seatbelt.

On Tuesday, a three-member disciplinary panel made the unanimous decision that Goodson was not guilty on all 21 counts against him.

Gray’s death sparked massive riots in Baltimore in 2015.

Following news of the verdict, Baltimore Police released a statement which said, “What happened to Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015, was an extremely unfortunate incident. No member of the Baltimore Police Department intentionally injured or caused Freddie Gray’s death. It was an unfortunate accident.”

“Officer Goodson can now turn the page [over] from this chapter in his life and continue his career with the Baltimore Police Department,” the statement concluded.

Below is a news broadcast from May 1, 2015, covering the case.

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