BALTIMORE - Prosecutors dropped their cases against the final two of six officers not yet tried in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore on Wednesday.
Officers Garrett Miller and Alicia White were awaiting trial over the death of Gray, a black man, on April 19, 2015, a week after he suffered a spinal injury sometime during a police van ride. His death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, and led to the worst riots the city had seen in decades.
Miller, who was set to stand trial Wednesday, faced charges of second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, reports CBS Baltimore. Before today's pretrial hearing, Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow told the judge that prosecutors were dropping the charges against Miller and the rest of the officers.
White was set to undergo her trial later this year.
State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who has come under intense criticism from all sides for her handling of the case, gave an intense reading Wednesday to reporters of a prepared statement that defended her investigation.
Mosby said the case against the six officers "was not and has never been an indictment on the entire police department."
However, Mosby said "there was a consistent bias" and apparent attempts to derail her probe among "individuals" within the Baltimore Police Department "at every stage of the investigation."
The state's attorney said that, for example, lead detectives in the investigation started a counter investigation to counter the state's case against the officers "without our knowledge."
She said that throughout her investigation, she had been "individually and professionally threatened," and slammed what she saw as the "grandstanding of some and hyperbole of others" who criticized her.
She said her only role in the case was to "seek justice on behalf of a 25-year-old man who was seeking safety in his neighborhood."
Also charged in connection with the case besides Miller and White were Officers Edward Nero, Lt. Brian Rice, William Porter and Caesar Goodson. Rice was the last officer acquitted by a judge earlier this month. Goodson was acquitted by a judge back in June. Nero was also acquitted by a judge in May. In December of last year, a Baltimore judge declared a mistrial for Porter in the first trial over Gray's death, because the jury in his case remained deadlocked.
Porter's charges were also dropped Wednesday. He was set to face a retrial later this year.
The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.
Mosby wasted little time in announcing charges after Gray's death - one day after receiving the police department's investigation while a tense city was still under curfew - and she did not shy from the spotlight. She posed for magazine photos, sat for TV interviews and even appeared onstage at a Prince concert in Gray's honor.
Gray's father said after Mosby spoke Wednesday that the family stands by her.
Richard Shipley said during the news conference Wednesday that the family "is proud to have her represent us."
Gray's mother on Wednesday blamed police for her son's death and accused officers of lying to investigators.
Gloria Darden spoke Wednesday after prosecutors said they were dropping the charges against the officers awaiting trial in her son's death. Darden says police "lied, I know they lied, and they killed him."
The city's troubles after the Gray case came to light forced Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her reform-minded police chief and abandon her re-election campaign. Homicides skyrocketed at a rate unseen in decades. Many feared that the acquittals could prompt more protests and unrest, but that never panned out.
Defense lawyers had argued for separate trials for each of the six officers because not all of the evidence applied to each defendant and they argued they didn't want jurors prejudiced against their clients based on evidence that was brought into the trial against another defendant.
There had been increasing pressure on prosecutors to drop the remaining cases after Rice was acquitted. Civil rights advocates said afterwards they expected to shift their focus from the courtroom to improving rules for police conduct since a central part of this case is that safety procedure was not clear which is part of why these officers have not been deemed "criminal."
The Gray case hasn't fit quite so neatly into the narrative of white authorities imposing unfair justice on minorities.
Three of the officers charged are white and three are black. The victim, judge, top prosecutor and mayor are African-American. At the time of Gray's death, so was the police chief.
No reputations hinged on the case's outcome as much as Mosby and her husband, Nick Mosby, a councilman for Baltimore's west side who announced his mayoral candidacy shortly after Rawlings-Blake pulled out.
Marilyn Mosby spoke so forcefully when she announced the charges against the officers in May that defense attorneys argued she should recuse herself for bias.
Gray's family received a $6.4 million settlement from the city.
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