No US federal charges for officers in Freddie Gray case


The Justice Department said Tuesday it will not pursue charges against six Baltimore police officers in connection with the death of a young black man while in custody that triggered mass civil unrest.

Freddie Gray, 25, died as a result of a broken neck while he was being transported in the back of a police wagon after being arrested in April 2015.

At the time, his hands and legs were placed in restraints, but he was not secured by a seatbelt.

All of the officers involved in Gray's arrest continue to work with the Baltimore Police Department, but five of them are facing administrative trials, according to the department.

Three officers had earlier been cleared of wrongdoing by a jury, and state prosecutors dropped charges against the other three officers last summer.

The Justice Department said in a statement that its investigation into Gray's death failed to yield sufficient evidence to support federal criminal civil rights charges.

"The department considered all of the evidence in light of the legal standards for proving criminal cases of false arrest, excessive force, and deliberate indifference," it said.

"After an extensive review of this tragic event conducted by career prosecutors and investigators, the Justice Department concluded that the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that the officers "willfully violated Gray's civil rights," the department added in announcing the investigation has been closed without prosecution.

Gray's death and the subsequent mass riots in the streets of Baltimore led to the ouster of former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and prompted a Justice Department probe into the city's police department.

The investigation was opened under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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