Facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office for the death of Freddie Gray last year, Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted this week by a judge in the Baltimore Circuit Court. Gray died last year after suffering a spinal injury while in custody in a police van, his death caused riots in Baltimore and was quickly adopted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rice, is the 4th out of six officers on trial in the death and the highest ranking individual. The three earlier trials resulted in two acquittals and a mistrial.
The judge ruled that there was no evidence Rice was aware that failing to seat belt a prisoner could result in injury or death and a failure for the prosecution was not being able to prove Rice had read a general order mandating officers to seat belt prisoners. According to the testimony of other officers Rice was the one who put Gray into the transport wagon while shackled and did not fasten his seat belt, as reported by CNN.
This same judge had ruled on the two previous acquittals in the case.